A new nature network plans to rewild 300,000 acres of land in the UK, in a bid to boost biodiversity and help tackle climate change.
The conservation charity, Rewilding Britain, is accelerating its efforts to rewild the UK and intends to turn an area the size of Greater Manchester over to nature within three years. The charity’s new Rewilding Network will bring together farmers, landowners and community groups, who are already rewilding or contemplating doing so, and provide them with expert advice and support, plus a forum to share information and ideas.
The charity launched the initiative to help reverse the alarming collapse in UK wildlife, which has left 56 per cent of species in decline and 15 per cent threatened with extinction. Rebecca Wrigley, Rewilding Britain’s chief executive, said. “Our Rewilding Network will help propel rewilding to a whole new level, so we can all begin to enjoy a Britain rich in wildlife again, with healthy living systems soaking up millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide, and our lives enriched by wild nature and strong resilient communities, regenerative farms and nature-friendly businesses.”
“Rewilding is about letting nature do its thing and take care of itself, but it’s also about people,” said Wrigley. “People lie at the heart of rewilding. The Rewilding Network will be Britain’s first learning and action network dedicated to supporting people who want to put rewilding into practice.”
Rewilding is gathering momentum across the country and, in the last 12 months alone, Rewilding Britain says it has provided assistance to 50 landowners, with 200,000 acres of land between them, as well thousands of small-scale farmers, gardeners and local groups. While more people want to get involved in rewilding, many don’t know how to get started. Billing itself as a “go-to hub” for rewilding advice, the Rewilding Network will advise people about making space for nature and help them build new enterprises around rewilding.
The charity has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £25,000 to cover start-up costs, including the creation of an online resource centre offering individual support, videos and webinars. Much of the network’s information will be free to access.