Facing my fears head-on—by observing and working with nature up close, getting to speak with the things that scare me so that I can understand them instead—has enabled me to embrace wildness in a whole new way.
Until now rewilding, which is by its very nature a large-scale effort, has been concentrated in the countryside and rural areas. More recently, however, there have been a number of projects and local movements pushing for more urban rewilding and at a smaller scale.
From a historic waterworks into a place for urban wild swimming, a community group in East London wants to buy up and rewild more than five hectares of concrete into a ‘brownfield rainforest’.
As I daydream during this thunderstorm, I’m thinking of the spring rains in Paris, where every raindrop is an opportunity to heal, restore, and recognize the rights of the Seine.
Despite these criticisms, Regenesis is a valuable book. It challenges us to think outside the box, presents at least some of the dilemmas with which it wrestles in an even-handed way and introduces us to a technology we may hear more about in future, whether we like it or not.
We don’t need re-genesis, but a de-urbanizing re-exodus to places where we can create such food cultures. The real lesson from George Monbiot’s grandmother, I’d submit, is not the narrowness of her diet but the breadth of her knowledge.
This is the story, in large part, of my own life journey (which is, I earnestly hope, not quite over yet), from breeding endangered breeds of domestic farm livestock at its beginning to restoring a broad array of the most marvellous native creatures back into habitats they have lost at its end.
An Ark is what we call those places which have been set free from those chains to heal our planet, patch by patch. It is a restored, native ecosystem, a local, small, medium, or large rewilding project.
In the face of these pressures there remains a dogged belief amongst many in the farming community that the purpose of agriculture is to produce food. A growing number of consumers are keen to buy high quality local food, produced through sound husbandry (as agroecology used to be called).
The term rewilding is being used more broadly these days to refer to restoring diversity, variability, and function so that ecosystems can once again support the full diversity of species and become self-regulating and resilient to climate change.
There is a growing movement, largely allied with anarchist, radical environmentalist, and decolonial practice, repurposing the term rewilding to be a political and cultural project that is more than merely conservation biology, one that thinks about nature with the people in.
The Cull is an award-winning documentary that explores the controversial topic of deer management in the Scottish Highlands, illustrating the complexity of a debate which has been going on for decades.