The Countryside Alliance has used the opportunity of a Parliamentary inquiry to highlight the dangers of ‘rewilding’ being used as an approach to conservation. The Environmental Audit Committee is carrying out an inquiry into the future of the natural environmental after the EU referendum, which includes a consideration of the “future risks and opportunities to innovative land practices, such as managed rewilding” and “what role can rewilding play in conservation and restoration of habitats and wildlife?” Our submission (which can be found below) highlights the fact that ‘rewilding’ as a concept is not clearly defined. For many, rewilding is perceived as a total abandonment of any management, whilst for others it means reducing the intensity of human management to reinstate ecological processes.
Given that there is no general understanding of ‘rewilding’, we believe a general policy would be deeply misguided and damaging to environmental, economic and social wellbeing of the countryside. Whether ‘rewilding’ involves the withdrawal of land management or a change in management such as the reintroduction of extinct flora and wild animals, or managed coastal and river flooding, any departure from existing land management practices should be assessed on a case by case basis.
Further details of the inquiry can be found here.
Our submission to the Committee can be downloaded here: rewilding-written-evidence-environmental-audit-committee-inquiry-september-2016