Group Meeting

I started learning about rewilding when I read David Attenborough’s book ‘A Life on Our Planet’ during lockdown. I then became obsessed with reading lots of books relating to Rewilding, the best of which is Isabella Tree ‘Wilding’. Massively recommend reading this. Rewilding made me realise what I’ve been missing in my life and in my work as well as what is missing in the British countryside; Wildness. 

The Uk has one of the lowest levels of biodiversity in the world. Many species are reaching the point of extinction. Isabella Tree wrote Wilding based on the experience herself and her husband have had on their large estate and farm in Surrey. Having been making a loss for a considerable amount of years, they made the decision to sell all their farm animals and machinery and stop. Tree describes this process as one in which they ‘took their hands off the steering wheel and let nature lead’. After some initial work removing fences, taking away the steep banks of the river and such like, they watched wildlife return at a rate that they didn’t think was possible. Having let nature find its own way for 5 years, they then started to introduce grazing animals such as Deer, Longhorn Cattle, Tamworth Pigs and Exmoor Ponies. I think they now also have Beavers. These keystone species engineer the environment to provide habitats in a much quicker way than we can engineer it. There is now a thriving wildland and successful ecotourism business at Knepp. I’ve visited myself and the feeling there is unlike any other. You can hear birds singing, insects buzzing and see animals rootling around. All of these things seem to be vanishing around Oxfordshire and Britain as a whole as I’m sure you have all noticed.

The objectives for this community group could be: to Rewild Council land. Raise money to buy land. Save land from development through bidding for land and through campaigning. Rewilding land will boost biodiversity levels by restoring wildlife habits, mitigate against flooding and also act as a carbon sink. These objectives are however for us all to agree on