The movement inspired by George Monbiot’s book ‘Feral’, as well as numerous small-scale projects across the UK, just put up their new website:
They’ve also been getting some favourable media coverage, eg:
http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up/display/playlistref/130715/clipid/130715_REWILD_1307 (possibly only available here)
Still no mention of human rewilding, except in the context of ecotourism and an increased ‘sense of wonder’ in less domesticated landscapes, but I was heartened to see an English writer putting this point across in the latest Permaculture magazine:
No text from the article at that link, I’m afraid, but here’s the key passage fyi:
[...] the dominant view of rewilding perpetuates the false division between people and the rest of nature. Many indigenous communities do not have a word for 'wild'; they recognise themselves as part of nature, not separate from it. The wild should not be a place we visit, it should be something we are, an integrated whole that includes humans. Through recognising humans as part of nature we come to see that just as we domesticated animals and landscapes through agriculture, we also domesticated ourselves. In this sense humans need rewilding just as much as places. From this less well-known perspective rewilding is a homecoming to our own wildness, a simultaneous transformation of human systems and landscapes.
The ‘false division’ is in evidence in the Channel 4 piece, where it is set up as a conflict between the needs of wild nature vs those of the ‘human ecology’, referring to the barren uplands that have been grazed down to grass monocultures by sheep farming. So far there has been no analysis that I’m aware of as to why we have this division or how it came about (cough, agriculture). Monbiot views this as a problem inherent in the entire human species, as I mentioned in a previous thread, so this fits the alienated ecotourist vision, with barriers in place to limit our destructive activities and protect other species from us. There’s little or no emphasis on the need to implement sustainable or regenerative subsistence strategies as a way of breaking down this division and creating situations where human activity in relation to other species can be encouraged rather than limited and policed - or simply reserved as a weekend leisure activity for affluent city-dwellers. I might even side with the sheep farmers if that turns out to be the case!
Anyway, thought it might be of interest to see how some are taking the rewilding idea in different directions.
PS: yay, we’ve got beavers again: http://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding/reintroductions/beaver