A fantastic piece by Ben Eagle regarding rewilding and farm subsidies. Any attempt to return Britain to a more primal state must include proactive dialogue with farmers. Paying farmers to get them on board? Some may scoff at the idea but it is almost certainly one of the most sure fire ways of advancing the rewilding agenda.
I have recently been having a number of conversations with others relating to the need to engage farmers and landowners with the rewilding debate. The rewilding campaign has, perhaps predictably, been led from within the conservation movement itself and has perhaps sidelined and isolated many of those who actually manage the majority of land – farmers. As a result rewilding becomes yet another tool that farmers perceive as being thrust against them by the conservation lobby, instead of the positive opportunity it could be – economically as well as ecologically. The Lawton Report (2010) suggested that we need sites for nature in the UK that are ‘bigger, better, joined and we need more of them’. This is clear and is accepted across the board. The State of Nature Report (2013) presented the critical state that farmland biodiversity is in. Generally, agri-environmental schemes have been shown to be successful to date, depending on the…
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