“We need to learn how to work with nature, rather than against it, we need to rewild our planet ”
Sir David Attenborough
A WILDER LAND
Wilderlands is a new project launched in 2020 to encourage each other to support nature at this critical time. All around the world we are losing our wildlife, natural habitats, our wild eco systems and natural resources at an unprecedented rate.
The populations of the UK’s most important wildlife have plummeted by an average of 60% since 1970, according to the most comprehensive analysis to date.The State of Nature report also found that losses to all animals, plants and marine life show no sign of letting up, despite some successes in protecting individual species. It found that 41% of species have decreased in abundance. A quarter of UK mammals and nearly half of the birds assessed are at risk of extinction.
Nature is our greatest resource and it is up to us to protect what we truly love. Whilst we would hope that government agencies have natures best interests at heart, we can not wait for the slow mechanisms of these systems to make the changes nature needs. Our intention. is to create a grass roots movement of change, empowering us all to create a wilder land for all beings. We no longer have time to wait and see, the time for action is now!
“Nature reserves are becoming natural art installations, It’s just like looking at your favourite Constable or Rothko. We go there, muse over it, and feel good because we’ve seen a bittern or some avocets or orchids. But on the journey home there’s nothing – only wood pigeons and non-native pheasants and dead badgers on the side of the road.'
Anyone spending time in nature in the UK in 2020 will see a landscape that has been decimated of its wildlife.
We become accustomed to seeing vast swathes of barren landscapes, devoid of species, far from what our ancestors would of appreciated and even further from its full potential.
This has become our new normal.
Yet if we can allow ourselves to imagine what this land could become, together as custodians of this island, by bringing together and challenging ourselves – all of us – across farming estates, industrial estates, housing estates, and schools, gardens, allotments and churchyards to be contributories to a great river of nature and return – us all together, making a pledge – to a wilder nature.
1. To create a network of support for wildlife, by asking people to join in the campaign to pledge 20% of our land, whether its a country estate, a farm, a garden or park to going wild. Therefore giving nature and wildlife a fair chance to thrive. Often our helping hand is letting nature take care of itself, without our need to manage and control, nature and wildlife will come back if we give space for wildness.
We want everyone to take the pledge and return 20% of whatever you have to nature – wilder, wetter, woodier – it doesn’t matter – but by doing so together we will help support species to return and thrive together.
2. To encourage towns like Lewes and even whole counties like East Sussex to become rewilding towns and counties, creating wild spaces, reintroducing beavers and otters, creating wildlife corridors, inspiring nature and wildlife tourism, therefore supporting local farmers, artists, hospitality to be proud and thrive in its natural heritage. To work with farmers, estates, councils, national parks to be brave enough to envision a wilder land and encourage lost species and those on the brink.
3. To host Wild weekends across the country, where people of all ages can come and spend time in nature, learn new skills such as fire and den making, learn crafts, identification of plants and trees, creating a deeper connection to our landscape, flora and fauna. By spending time in nature we can really appreciate the natural world around us, not simply take it for granted but to find the tremendous joy and wonder that nature offers, as well as supporting our well being and health.
4. To create a Wilderlands retreat centre in one of the wildest parts of the British Isles. Our lives move so fast, with always something to do, here the invitation is to leave the stress and hassle of everyday life behind and relax into nature, to recharge and look at the deep contours of our lives and find ways to live in alignment with our wildest dreaming. In the longer term we hope to be able to buy land solely for the purpose of rewilding wherever we can and where appropriate.
Here is an invitation to create a centre for rewilding our hearts, a place of deep connection with nature, a place to be at ease and in connection with our greatest resource, in a wild beautiful place.
We want to create a place that is not aligned to any religious or spiritual beliefs, but at the same time is a place to truly rest the body and mind in the splendour of the natural world, remembering that the greatest gift, the greatest miracle, is simply the wonder of life itself.
Wilderland challenges us in making our island nation one of the biggest, best connected and restored lands
in the world and in so doing enriching our lives and restoring our wild hearts.
Wilderland is as ambitious and grand in scope as any of the great conservation projects that have inspired us – size matters – scale is as important to nature recovery as it is to raising awareness.
HOW WILL WE DO THIS?
How will we achieve this?
Wilder, wetter, woodier – it doesn’t matter – but if we do this together we will return nature
to its full potential allowing it to recover and thrive.
Rewilding has become a buzz word in the conservation and environmental world. In many cases it has had an enormous positive role in supporting species renewal and well being for us all.
Most famously championed here in the UK by the Knepp Estate in Sussex and the wonderful book "Wilding" by Isabella Tree and the ground breaking book "Feral"by journalist George Monbiot.
Yet unfortunately it has some negative connotations from some farmers and land owners. However this needn't be the case. In this context we are fully aware of farmers contribution to the environment and stewardship of the land and want to support each other to help create a wilder land together. This is not a case of division but supporting each other to create a landscape of trust and support and a financial model that supports this. By making space for nature and more species, there is a wider potential for income.
This is why we are choosing to use the term "A Wilder Land". Supporting a wilder land is good for everyone, it will provide better soils, less pollution, more species, bio diversity and a brighter future for our grandchildren.
Wilding is a journey with no set path and no fixed destination, but there’s a beginning. It starts with you making the decision to set up an area to become wilder – land, sea, water.
There’s no one-size-fits-all route map but we inspired by rewilding Britains research, where they offer
12 steps to rewilding, to help you on your way. Nature is diverse, dynamic, unpredictable and complex. Rewilding is not about managing it but freeing it to be all it can be. It’s a holistic approach that lets nature lead the way as much as possible – to grow, evolve and change on its own terms.
It’s about taking actions that support life and restore life.
Together let us co create a wilder land for all!