Rewilding a country: Britain as a study case

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Rewilding in Britain has become synonymous with George Monbiot and his book Feral (Monbiot 2013), which is both celebrated and condemned for opening-up debate and raising awareness, whilst also polarising and antagonising stakeholders. Rewilding in Britain did not start with Monbiot, with longer standing discussion and experimentation advanced by members of the British Association of Nature Conservation, Wildland Network, Wildland Research Institute and others (Taylor 2005; Ward, Fisher & Carver 2006; Hodder et al. 2009; Taylor 2011; Sandom, Hughes & Macdonald 2013a). Monbiot has, however, transformed rewilding’s potential. The explosion of interest following the publication of Feral led to the initiation of Rewilding Britain to champion the cause, raise funds to support practical implementation, and tackle barriers at a policy and legislative level. Supporters and trustees emphasise the ‘positive’ and ‘optimistic’ vision that rewilding poses. This is more than a ‘Monbiot-effect’, rather, rewilding seems to tap into something critical at this time of ecological and political anguish, namely a hope that things can be improved (Rewilding Britain interview [#19] May 2017) . In this chapter, we explore the opportunity and risks that rewilding in Britain presents. We also provide an overview of rewilding associated projects underway here, assessing their objectives, approach and outcomes. Finally, we consider what the future might hold for rewilding in Britain.

Keywords

  • Rewilding, Land use, ecology, Landscape
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRewilding
EditorsNatalie Pettorelli, Sarah Durant, Johan T. DuToit
PublisherCambridge University Press
Chapter12
ISBN (Electronic)9781108560962
ISBN (Print)978-1108460125
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2019

Publication series

NameEcological Reviews
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