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Mar 03, 2020

Rewilding Britain: Take 2

Words by Jessica Mevel

First Mile is pleased to announce that, for the 2nd year in a row, Rewilding Britain is our ‘staff charity of choice’. Rewilding Britain’s mission is to improve biodiversity through the large-scale restoration of ecosystems across the UK, and their work has inspired our staff throughout the year.

Once an ecosystem is disrupted, wildlife is gone - and that includes birds, insects and species of plants. The result is often a monocoloured grassland without big trees, animals and any kind of texture.

Rewilding is the restoration of ecosystems in large-scale to allow nature to take care of itself. It aims to reinstate the land’s natural processes and missing species, allowing them to shape the landscape and its habitats. There are several ongoing rewilding projects across the UK, with successful results.

In this urban rewilding partnership, the Wandle Trust is restoring the river to its former glory as a beautiful chalk stream. Photos by Wandle Trust and Rewilding Britain.

But it’s important to remember that rewilding doesn’t mean abandoning the land. Rewilding Britain work starts by analysing the area and carefully deciding on the best approach. It is then followed by years of dedicated management and, where appropriate, the monitored re-introduction of species.

Still, rewilding generally means doing less and in smaller pieces of land, so it’s cheaper than traditionally managed restoration processes - but it’s done alongside them, not instead of. Either way, nature should be allowed to dominate.

If the land eventually goes back to being farmed again in the future, the soil will strongly benefit from the years it wasn’t exploited, producing better crops.

With planning, time and investment, Rewilding Britain can turn UK's exploited areas into thriving environments again with better soil and water, biodiversity and reduced flood risk. Better for everybody.

In summary, rewilding is a way to let nature recover while providing nearby communities with new opportunities in sustainable tourism, culture, education and wellbeing. It’s about balance.

If you wish to donate to Rewilding Britain you can do so here.

Top photo: Ben Porter

By Jessica Mevel

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