The case for rewilding

Published: 24th June 2015

Find out about work we are doing to increase understanding about rewilding.

We are part of a growing movement of people and groups throughout the UK working to increase understanding about rewilding. We have recently backed the launch of a new charity called Rewilding Britain

We would like to see large parts of Britain set aside for rewilding. We think that a visionary approach would benefit not just nature, but also people and communities, especially in remote areas. Rewilding pockets of our towns and cities could also play a role in bringing nature into more of our lives.


Rewilding is about intervening to repair damage and restart natural processes – for example, by managing deer to allow native woodlands to regenerate; or by re-introducing missing species, such as beavers, that perform key functions in our ecosystems. That in turn will ultimately allow nature to take its own course and be more resilient in the face of climate change.

Our work has included working with RSPB and others lobbying for changes to the Infrastructure Bill at Westminster for changes to the proposed definition of ‘non-native’ species. We were concerned that the proposed legislation would define several native species as non-native, including capercaillie, white-tailed eagle, chough, corncrake, red kite, barn owl and goshawk. We were also concerned that the Bill could define species that go extinct in the UK as ‘non-native’ just because they are not currently resident. This could stand in the way of species reintroductions as these species could then be controlled or eradicated by powers to combat invasive, non-native species. A further unintended consequence may be that landowners could even be forced to control native species under this powerful new legislation.

You can read about the work the Trust is doing on its properties to restore native woodlands and other important habitats, and to encourage the return of native species and natural processes on our Managing Wild Land page.

MHA 110511 13