By John Brennan, 10/06/2020
Have you heard of the concept of rewilding? It’s an idea becoming very popular in conservationist circles.
What is it? Simply put it is allowing land to return to it’s natural state and letting it’s native flora and wildlife return.
According to Rewilding Europe:
Rewilding is a progressive approach to conservation. It’s about letting nature take care of itself, enabling natural processes to shape land and sea, repair damaged ecosystems and restore degraded landscapes. Through rewilding, wildlife’s natural rhythms create wilder, more biodiverse habitats.
In a sleepy corner of the Somerset Levels, a quiet revolution is taking place. For generations, the fields around the village of Godney have been dedicated to high-intensity farming. But in 2015, Alasdair Cameron and his wife Yasmeen Ismail, who had never previously owned or worked land, decided to buy a small set of fields at Godney Marshes and let nature back in.
Already, the results of this pop-up rewilding project have been astonishing.
The land is becoming a rich tangle of grasslands, scrub and trees. Species such as marsh harriers, egrets, winter snipe and hares have returned. And the soil, battered from decades of fertiliser overuse, is starting to recover.
Cameron says we are facing a crisis in our wildlife. More than a quarter of all British birds are at risk of extinction, up to three-quarters of all flying insects have disappeared since 1945, and we have lost swathes of our ancient woodlands. Toads, water voles, mountain hares and rabbits are all in steep decline, and the latest RSPB report described Britain as being “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world”.
“One of the most important things we can do is create more space for nature. If you leave something alone, something will move in. In an ideal world, we’d have more publicly managed wilderness, including large areas of our uplands, but this is what I can do now”.
To see what they’re doing at Godney Marshes take a look at their blog here: