Rewilding starts here! Rewilding starts here – and now! Rewilding!
These and similar mottos have been milling around in our thoughts for quite some time, certainly since late 2017 – when we read Feral, by George Monbiot
In this book, the author (whose environmental writings are syndicated around the world), argues – with extraordinary breadth of knowledge and depth of understanding – that the time has come for mankind to ditch the conventional wisdoms and practices of ‘nature conservation’, and in their place adopt a far more radical, far-reaching form of land management. Or is should that be non-management?
Rewilding : The withdrawal of traditional or conventional forms of land-management, in which the primary aim is to produce food or other goods, and in so doing to earn profit, with nature conservation – no matter how extensive – being entirely subordinate to the economic imperative.
Rewidling : The process of re-colonisation and re-settlement of land by wild populations of flora and fauna (some of which may have to be re-introduced, having previously been driven out by intensification and expansion of agriculture).
Rewilding : The changes occuring in human consciousness, in our daily lives, and in social political and economic organisation, that replace the pre-eminence of human needs and aspirations, and give the last word to Nature.
Even when we first met in the late 1970s, our interest in self-sufficiency and traditional crafts rested on a belief that we all must re-learn to live in harmony with the environment, and most especially the local environment, on which we rely to sustain ourselves. Although not normally considered within the precepts of self-sufficiency, for us it was important to leave parts of our gardens (and, since 2007, our croft) for nature to manage, with minimal interventions from us.
But now we’re wanting to go further – much further. At both the walled garden and at the croft, our aims and efforts will be re-focussed away from production, the non-productive areas in which we have already established trees and shrubs (and which are already rich in wildlife from insects to small mammals and birds) will be greatly extended.
What all this means in practice will become evident in time.