I hope some of you are aware of the current debate around ‘rewilding’ as echoed in the blog post I wrote here recently.
Even better, watch ‘Rewilding made simple’ http://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/video/2013/may/30/rewilding-animation-george-monbiot-video
I have been pondering where to go with this. I certainly can’t do anything on my own, and am very aware of my own lack of knowledge in this area.
Are there any other Transition members/sympathisers, especially people with conservation/ecology backgrounds, who would like to meet for a chat?
(1) Is there any rewilding project we would love to see happening locally?
(2) What could we do next to further those ideas?
(See below for a little more detail.)
Please click this link and indicate which days you could meet up, if you’re interested in talking further: http://doodle.com/g58b9y2gdawaf5mk
Personally, I’m sure rewilding is an idea whose time has come, and that we could give it a bit of a push.
Miscellaneous ideas, in no particular order:
- awareness-raising about the barren nature of our current hill areas – the dearth of anything growing or living, compared to their potential ecology
- identify small pockets of land (which have suitable ownership) which could be left to nature &/or started on their way with some planting
- fundraise for & plant native trees
- identify existing schemes to publicise and join in with – e.g. replanting vegetation on National Trust land (but not if it’s just going to be eaten by sheep in due course?)
- encourage the NT to keep the Kinder plateau sheep-free permanently (although it’s a pretty long-term project anyway) – perhaps assisting with publicising the reasons for doing this
- encourage a wider Kinder area to be cleared of grazing animals, perhaps just to be left untended, rather than actively planted
- identify suitable mammal/bird reintroductions, as a long-term target
- participate in specific campaigns such as ‘Turn your back on grouse’ (aiming to put pressure on grouse shooting interests until the hen harrier has been allowed to return)
- lobby those with influence, at whatever level, to swing the public mood behind the idea of rewilding (and against some effects of the CAP?)
- hold a public meeting to highlight advantages and obstacles
- hold a meeting with representatives of interested groups – water authorities, Natural History Society, Nat Trust, DCC, Peak Park, Ramblers, Wildlife Trust, RSPB….
- have an identified group of local sympathisers ready for when a national campaign/charity is ready to launch
More links, if you’re interested in the concept:
http://www.cambrianwildwood.org/rewilding.php – a Cambrian hills project
http://www.rewildingeurope.com/ – Europe’s ambitious rewilding plans
http://treesforlife.org.uk/tfl.contents1.html – aiming to restore a huge area of the Caledonian forest, working with local landowners and buying suitable land