Rewilding landscapes to save communities

Rewilding is a positive, pro-active view of conservation that involves returning a suite of species to landscapes to restore the ecological processes that once occurred there. Rewilding has gathered huge followings in North America (Yellowstone for example), southern Africa, Australia and New Zealand. It has even some examples in the UK (Scottish beaver trial, Knapdale, Alladale, etc).

There are a suite of reasonably innocuous species that could easily be restored to our rural landscapes - things like beavers, pine marten, dormice, etc. There are others that would be more challenging - lynx or wolves. All of these species require adequate habitat - largely woodland - so substantial reforestation would be necessary, which has associated carbon storage and biodiversity benefits.

Rewilding also offers new opportunities to save rural communities. With the removal of subsidies for many agricultural practices, upland farming seems unlikely to survive. Analyses in South Africa showed that ecotourism yielded 4 times the profit and employed 5 times more people than low productive pastoralism. These communities could turn to ecotourism to remain economically viable.

Why the contribution is important

Rewilding could solve the economic crisis of rural communties by offering alternative livelihoods to those currently available (and heavily reliant upon subsidies). Rewilding also offers opportunities to improve the status of biodiversity throughout Wales.

North Wales is currently seen as the adventure capital of the UK - rewilding sits perfectly within that remit, but could expand this to be the 'natural adventure capital of the UK'.

by hayers on September 02, 2016 at 01:55PM

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Comments

  • Posted by JonesECwm September 11, 2016 at 16:48

    Rewilding does not have to be so dramatic to impact on local communities. Encouraging native plants and flowers can enhance an environment and encourage walking/cycling etc.
  • Posted by EllisHuws September 26, 2016 at 11:32

    Rewilding is good, but requires restricting human expansion to protect areas. I think we _should_ restrict human expansion, but the Welsh and UK Governments encourage road building, increased housing (often unnecessary) etc, while doing nothing about population growth. Urban areas just keep growing. Rewilding policies should run hand in hand with reducing human impact. The Governments should really switch tactics to protecting and end encouragign wildlife, not setting ridiculous high house-building targets which end destroying greenfield sites 99% of the time. Anyway, I support this in principle.
  • Posted by AlexandraCook September 27, 2016 at 13:41

    Humans are here to stay for a while - unless somebody is advocating for inhumane reduction of our population. Fortunately, economic development goes hand in hand with reduction in birth rates, so there may be time in future for huge rewilding projects. But for now people are suffering - stuck to cities and towns. They need nature and countryside for mental and physical health. So we need our intelligence to develop a way of living in harmony with nature, surrounded by wild nature everywhere where we are. Thinking in the direction of sustainable farming, "food forests", "garden cities", decentralisation, edible landscapes, eco-villages, -neighborhoods, -towns, passive houses, etc. Human activity and flourishing could be conducted within a healthy ecosystem made of plants and animals.
  • Posted by CelynMenai February 23, 2017 at 13:53

    Diolch i chi am rannu eich syniadau a sylwadau!

    Mae eich blaenoriaethau a syniadau yn cael eu defnyddio i helpu’r Pwyllgor i ysgrifennu ei adroddiad ar sut y gallwn ddatblygu egwyddorion sy'n sail i bolisi amaethyddiaeth a datblygu gwledig newydd i Gymru. Am ragor o wybodaeth, plîs cysylltwch â fi ar celyn.cooper@cynulliad.cymru. Mi fyddai’n sicr o ddiweddaru’r tudalennau hyn a’r sgwrs fel mae hyn yn datblygu.

    Mae eich syniadau a’ch blaenoriaethau hefyd wedi bod o gymorth i’r Pwyllgor wrth iddo wahodd sefydliadau a chyrff cynrychioliadol i’r Senedd i roi tystiolaeth ar lafar ar ddyfodol amaeth yng Nghymru.

    O ddiddordeb , mae'r Pwyllgor yn cynnal nifer o ymgynghoriadau newydd ar hyn o bryd. Mae croeso i chi gysylltu yn uniongyrchol, neu ymweld â wefan y Pwyllgor am fanylion pellach: http://www.assembly.wales/cy/bus-home/committees/Pages/Committee-Profile.aspx?cid=444

    Diolch o galon i chi gyd eto!

    ***

    Thank you for sharing your idea and comments!

    Your ideas and priorities are now being used to help the Committee write its report on how we can develop principles to underpin a new agriculture and rural development policy for Wales. For more information, please do contact me @ celyn.cooper@assembly.wales. I’ll also make sure to update the pages and this thread to keep you updated as this progresses.

    Your ideas and priorities have also been a great support for the Committee as it invited representative organisations and bodies to come to the Senedd and give oral evidence on the future of agriculture in Wales.

    Of interest, the Committee is also undertaking a number of other inquiries at the moment that may be of interest. You're more than welcome to contact me directly, or visit the Committee's webpage for more information on how to get involved: http://www.assembly.wales/en/bus-home/committees/Pages/Committee-Profile.aspx?cid=444

    Thank you again for all your contributions!
    Diolch!
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