At first they were just shadows, dark impressions glimpsed through the mist. Is that really…? Could it be…? As we moved a little closer one of them turned to the east, to face the rising sun. His profile was unmistakable, the curved horns and humped shoulders proclaiming “bison”!
And not just any bison, but free-ranging European bison, grazing in the meadows on the edge of the largest remnant of primeval forest in Europe. Without a doubt, this encounter during my visit to Poland in July was the stand-out wildlife experience of my year. With an emphasis on WILD. I suspect that experience is also what prompted this post, on the topic of rewilding.
Rewilding. It’s an evocative word. It’s also a word that seems to turn up quite regularly in my news feeds at the moment. Every so often, friends ask me what I think about rewilding. To answer them I wanted to gain a better understanding of some of the issues surrounding rewilding, so I thought I’d do a little reading, then write a quick blog post on the topic.
Well, that was a mistake! I’ve just emerged from one of those internet black holes, following one link after another, browsing paper after news article after blog, reading about some wonderful conservation projects, outlandish ideas (some good, some… less good) and first person perspectives from all sides of the debate.
So what have I learned?
Well… it’s complicated.