What is rewilding?

It’s all about bringing nature back to life and restoring living systems

Rewilding is the large-scale restoration of ecosystems where nature can take care of itself. It seeks to reinstate natural processes and, where appropriate, missing species – allowing them to shape the landscape and the habitats within.

Rewilding encourages a balance between people and the rest of nature where each can thrive. It provides opportunities for communities to diversify and create nature-based economies; for living systems to provide the ecological functions on which we all depend; and for people to re-connect with wild nature.

We believe in four principles of rewilding
  1. People, communities and livelihoods are keyPeople, communities and livelihoods are key Rewilding is a choice of land management. It relies on people deciding to explore an alternative future for the land and people.
  2. Natural processes drive outcomesNatural processes drive outcomes Rewilding is not geared to reach any human-defined optimal point or end state. It goes where nature takes it. 
  3. Work at nature's scaleWork at nature’s scale Rewilding needs sufficient scale so that nature can reinstate natural processes and create ecologically coherent units. 
  4. Benefits are for the long termBenefits are for the long term Rewilding is an opportunity to leave a positive legacy for future generations. It should be secured for the long term. 

Read our principles of rewilding

Bringing life back to the land

Rewilding is a great way to let nature fully recover while providing communities with new opportunities. It brings an abundance of life back to the land – more animal and bird life, more trees and plant life, more opportunities for human life to flourish. 

Rewilding isn’t a replacement for farming, forestry or activities such as hunting and fishing. It produces a rich mosaic of habitats that supports an increasingly rich mosaic of economic activities. As rewilding starts to take shape, it can reinvigorate local communities as well benefitting people more widely.

What does rewilding look like

Six reasons to choose rewilding
  1. Help nature recover Our ecosystems are broken and nature is struggling – 56% of species in the UK are in decline and 15% threatened with extinction. Biodiversity needs space to flourish.
  2. Revitalise communities Rewilding can empower rural communities to diversify their economies, and plan for a future with new opportunities and minimal reliance on grants and subsidies
  3. Look after ourselves Naturally functioning ecosystems are better at preventing floods, storing carbon, keeping us healthy, and providing us with clean air, water, food and fuel.
  4. Keep us healthy Experiencing wild nature helps reconnect people with the living planet. This improves our health and wellbeing, and builds a shared sense of humanity
  5. Return missing species Many important species have disappeared from Britain over the centuries. This includes numerous birds and mammals. Rewilding can help bring them back.
  6. A positive legacy Rewilding offers a big opportunity to leave our landscapes and rural communities in a better state than they are today, for the benefit of future generations.
FOSH © 2021

This Web site is for those who love the South Hams “The jewel in the crown of Devon” and who wish to protect and enhance the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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