The Telegragh reports Britain’s biggest bird could make a comeback under new rewilding plans, as the Wildlife Trusts call for the government to restore our wetlands to their former glory and bring back the dalmatian pelican.
Dalmatian pelican at Prague Zoo by Willard under creative commons.
The birds, which are up to six foot in length and have a wingspan of up to 11 feet, disappeared from our wetlands before medieval times, but are present in the fossil record. The majestic species was common 12,000 years ago and bones have been found in peat bogs in Norfolk, East Yorkshire and Somerset from the Bronze and Iron ages. Eventually, 2,000 years ago, the drainage of these wetlands, alongside hunting and disturbance, led to the extinction of the pelican.
The Times reports lynx and wolves could be reintroduced to England under plans backed by the head of Natural England to “rewild” large areas.
European wolf photo by Lawria under creative commons.
Vogue reports for the first time since we started rewilding, in 2000, I sensed my husband, Charlie’s, resolve beginning to waver. Letters from neighbors were reaching a crescendo of outrage. Over the nine years since we began handing Knepp Estate, our 3,500-acre farm in West Sussex, over to nature we had weathered complaints about our free-roaming animals, outbreaks of ragwort, unkempt hedgerows, and thorny scrub desecrating the picture-postcard image of England’s green and pleasant land.
Photo from Knepp Estate by Fred Langridge under creative commons.
The Daily Mail and The Guardian report a wildlife catastrophe is imminent unless urgent action is taken to restore Britain’s natural habitats, campaigners have warned today. Nature group Rewilding Britain said global warming means species’ ‘climate zones’ – areas with ideal temperature, humidity and rainfall for those creatures – are moving north too fast for them to keep up.
The Guardian reports a handful of radical nature lovers are secretly breeding endangered species and releasing them into the wild. Many are prepared to break the law and risk the fury of the scientific establishment to save the animals they love.
The BBC reports golden eagles have bred at a “rewilding” estate in the Scottish Highlands for the first time in 40 years. An eagle pair successfully reared the chick at an artificial eyrie on the 10,000-acre Dundreggan estate.
The Observer reports is bison will soon be roaming our woods again, other long-lost species such as wild cats should follow to increase biodiversity…A small herd is to be released into Blean Woods near Canterbury in Kent, in a lottery-funded project led by the Kent Wildlife Trust and Wildwood Trust.
The Guardian reports by buying and managing small wooded plots, enthusiasts are bringing biodiversity back to the countryside.
Tamara and Steve Davey cannot help but grin at the suggestion they are “miniature rewilders”. Standing proudly in the weak sunlight on the fringes of Dartmoor national park, the full-time grandmother and taxi company owner delight in their eight-acre woodland. Robins, tits and siskins chortle in the trees. Nightjars are welcome visitors in the summer. Seven bat species have been recorded in their small plot. There’s a badger’s sett somewhere in the hillside scrub. And the couple feel at peace.
The Telegraph reports bears should be reintroduced into the British countryside one day, the new head of the Wildlife Trusts has said, as he argues the loss of the species is as significant as if we lost the works of Shakespeare.
Dr Craig Bennett, who was previously the CEO of Friends of The Earth, now starts as the chair of the wildlife charities and has been enlisted to turn the nature reserves into a campaigning force.
Photo by cloudtail the snow leopard uncer creative commons.
The Sunday Telegraph reports in late August, unbeknown to most of the capital’s population of eight million, a single white-tailed eagle flew over central London. This magnificent bird of prey was one of six released a week earlier on the Isle of Wight and had taken it upon himself to explore his new manor.
That eagle over London was symbolic of a much wider process taking place all over the country. Whether you use the word Rewilding with a capital R, a small r or indeed no r at all, however you choose to define it – big birds of prey, tiny dormice, or a healthy, flowing river – the desire to ecologically restore our landscape is a response to the critical condition of our natural world. Despite the work of organisations like The Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and National Trust, as well as smaller foundations and private estates such as Knepp in West Sussex and Trees for Life in the Scottish Highlands, our wildlife is in trouble. Nature conservation organisations that traditionally focused on protecting specific sites and national parks have reached the consensus that such work is no longer enough.