What is rewilding?

What is rewilding?

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.

A major role in this process is the return of key species that have become extinct or declined due to human activities. That is why a significant part of our work includes the reintroduction of herbivores, as this is the most effective way to create a natural ecosystem with complex food chains.

Fallow nd red deer, wild horses, bison are naturally occurring European herbivores that maintain a mosaic of open and wooded areas through natural grazing. By restoring wildlife and natural processes, wilder, richer biodiversity habitats are created.

Rewilding is about:

Nature’s own ways

Nature knows best when it comes to survival and self-governance.

We can give it a helping hand by creating the right conditions – by removing dykes and dams to free up rivers, by reducing active management of wildlife populations, by allowing natural forest regeneration, and by reintroducing species that have disappeared as a result of man’s actions.

Then we should step back and let nature manage itself.

Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

Bringing back wildlife

European wildlife species have strongly declined, even in our wildest areas. Some of them have even gone extinct, while they play a critically important ecological role. Rewilding works to restore lost species guilds by giving them space to thrive, by population enhancement, and by reintroducing key native species.

Ensuring wellbeing

When nature is healthy, we are healthier too. We rely on the natural world for water, food and air. There is a growing realisation that connecting with wild nature makes us feel good and keeps us mentally and physically well.

Rewilding is about reconnecting a modern society – both rural and urban – with wilder nature. We invite people to experience and live in these new, rewilded landscapes.

Bogdan Boev Wildlife Photography

Delivering for the future

There is no defined end point for rewilding. The aim is to support nature-driven processes, which in turn will bring about wilder nature. This takes time and space. Rewilding is about moving up a scale of wildness, where every step moving up this scale is seen as progress.

If we create and protect areas where rewilding can take place, both people and wildlife will benefit in the long term.

Why is rewilding vital in Europe?


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