Pilot projects

We’re starting to work with landowners, communities and other partners to make large-scale rewilding a reality

Successful rewilding will involve collaboration between communities and landowners 

We want to demonstrate that rewilding can work economically and ecologically. To do this, we need to work on a larger scale than any current nature restoration project. Working on a giant scale allows nature to be the driver of change. It also offers the best opportunity for local communities to realize the economic benefits of rewilding.

We have plans to establish at least three pioneering rewilding pilot projects in Britain over the next 10 years. The projects will offer an opportunity to demonstrate a workable model for rewilding that can be adopted and adapted for use by others. They will be developed with and for the benefit of local communities. 

More details on specific pilot projects will follow soon!

Our approach

We want to bring together ecological and economic expertise, along with local knowledge of the land and its nature. This means forging innovative partnerships with landowners, communities, those who work on the land, businesses, statutory bodies and other relevant experts. We’re already having conversations in a number of areas where there is the interest and the appropriate scale to make rewilding happen.

With each partnership we intend to:

  • Carry out feasibility studies to assess the ecological potential and socio-economic opportunities, comparing current land management with the potential benefits of rewilding.
  • Develop a common vision for rewilding – building on and joining up existing smaller scale nature conservation initiatives
  • Develop a business case for each pilot area to attract investment for nature-based enterprises (e.g. ecotourism, sustainable harvesting of wild products, sustainable hunting, payment for ecosystem services)
  • Help interested parties to set up nature-based enterprises that have a multiplier effect on the wider community
  • Undertake restoration projects, re-establishing natural processes through blocking drains, removing fencing or grazing pressure, assessing the desirability of reintroducing missing species etc.
  • Explore workable models for the governance and management of the land, which ensure its protection and bring collective benefits

Our role

In support of these partnerships we will:

  • Bring together local knowledge with the practical, business and entrepreneurial skills and expertise needed to support partnerships to put rewilding into practice
  • Support fundraising for rewilding areas through charitable, government, philanthropic and enterprise sources
  • Identify and undertake relevant research – for example, on rewilding and the development of nature-based economies
  • Build networks and share learning between the pilot projects
  • Develop a model and toolkits for large-scale rewilding that can be shared with others
  • Identify and push for the policy changes needed to make the rewilding pilot projects happen
  • Work with research institutions to establish baselines and on-going ecological monitoring and research
  • Develop and communicate our rewilding message to key audiences