Attempt made to define ‘rewilding’

AN attempt has been made to define ‘rewilding’ in Scotland, in response to perceived differences of opinion among people as to what it actually means.

The Scottish Government-commissioned work – carried out by the research organisation, The James Hutton Institute – has resulted in a three paragraph-long proposal.

It reads (as explained, here): “Rewilding means enabling nature’s recovery, whilst reflecting and respecting Scotland’s society and heritage, to achieve more resilient and autonomous ecosystems.

“Rewilding is part of a set of terms and approaches to landscape and nature management; it differs from other approaches in seeking to enable natural processes which eventually require relatively little management by humans.

“As with all landscape management, rewilding should be achieved by processes that engage and ideally benefit local communities, in line with Scotland’s Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement, to support a ‘Just Transition‘ [a fairer, greener future for all].”

Concludes the research: “Based on an evidence review and workshop on rewilding, this report proposes a new definition of rewilding for use by Scotland’s public sector. This definition is compatible with existing international debates but is intended to be more accessible and relevant to a Scottish context.

“We also recommend a number of options for future activities, to influence understanding of rewilding by different members of the public, and build confidence in how rewilding relates to other terms and processes relevant to the public sector in Scotland. Together, these recommendations should help enable engagement with nature and landscape management options suitable for Scotland.”

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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