European Young Rewilders steps up to engage and empower “Generation Rewilding”

November 28, 2022

Young people are the future of rewilding. By inspiring and enabling them, the European Young Rewilders – which builds on the work of its predecessor, the Young Rewilders Community – will accelerate the scaling up of nature recovery.

Young people are the future of rewilding.
Bruno D'Amicis/Rewilding Europe


Next generation rewilding

The future of the rewilding movement lies with young people, who are increasingly knowledgeable and passionate about nature, conservation and rewilding. Young people are already key actors in efforts to make Europe wilder, and have huge potential to accelerate the scaling up of rewilding across the continent.

With this mind, we now have a historic opportunity to really engage and empower “Generation Rewilding”, harnessing the skills, creativity, drive and passion of European youth to take rewilding onwards and upwards. This will hopefully lead to a future where young people are truly connected with and benefit from wilder nature, as part of a society where nature is valued and treated as an essential component of prosperous and healthy living.

“I am excited about the unknown, the experiences we can have and the natural processes and patterns that are longing to unfold on our continent.”

Georg, 29, a young rewilder from Germany


World Rewilding Day Excursion Velebit Mountains World Rewilding Day
Engaging and empowering “Generation Rewilding” could accelerate the scaling up of nature recovery in Europe.


Towards upscaling

Giulia Testa, a passionate rewilider, is the new European Young Rewilders Coordinator.
Giulia Testa

Leveraging this opportunity and realising this vision are twin aims of the European Young Rewilders (EYR), which is launching today as an evolution of the former Young Rewilders Community (YRC). It has a more structured format than its predecessor, as well as membership criteria, with a more focused approach allowing it to reach the right people and deliver more impact. Despite the criteria, the idea is to be as welcoming and inclusive as possible; over the last two years the YRC has already proved its value connecting with a large group of passionate and talented young Europeans (it has around 800 members).

“We already see youth embracing rewilding on a growing scale,” says Giulia Testa, a 25 year-old Italian who recently took up a position as the new Coordinator of the European Young Rewilders. “The EYR will provide them with the opportunities, knowledge and desire to apply rewilding ideas and principles in their daily lives and careers. By informing and empowering young people, the EYR can really upscale rewilding, which connects with and supports Rewilding Europe’s objectives in Strategy 2030.”


Benefits and opportunities

To facilitate, educate, connect and mentor young people that are interested in taking part in the movement, the new plan for the European Young Rewilders revolves around five main strands:

  • Education: giving young people easy access to information and educational material about rewilding.
  • Implementation: enabling young people to be engaged in rewilding activities and actions across Europe, both within and beyond Rewilding Europe’s landscapes.
  • Facilitation: enabling young, early-career rewilders to enter the rewilding sector and start their own rewilding initiatives.
  • Engagement: developing the European Young Rewilders into a large and active network for sharing and showcasing views and experiences in rewilding.
  • Impact: expanding the outreach of the European Young Rewilders and gaining external credibility and exposure.


Membership of the European Young Rewilders remains free, while members need to be:

  • between 18 and 35 years old;
  • located in Europe;
  • pursuing a career or study path related to rewilding, and/or have a desire to contribute to the rewilding movement.

European Young Rewilders are encouraged to actively exchange knowledge and experience with other members, and be willing to support the community via surveys or other types of initiatives if needed. The dedicated Facebook group will allow members to share and discuss rewilding-related content, knowledge, ideas and job opportunities, while there will be regular forums, webinars, real-world events, and a newsletter.

“The idea of giving back space and leadership to nature reassures me and makes me optimistic, as I firmly believe that nature knows best and can handle and fix most things if we let it.”

Flavia, 26, a young rewilder from Switzerland


The European Young Rewilders will enable young people to engage in practical rewilding.
Laurien Holtjer


An inspired rewilder

Giulia Testa, who has an academic background in environmental law, now lives in southern Sweden. Her position as Coordinator of the European Young Rewilders fulfills a long-term dream to work in rewilding.

“I first heard about rewilding in 2015 when I was based in Canada and was told about the case of wolves returning to Yellowstone National Park in the US,” she says. “I find it incredible that nature can heal itself, and frustrating that we don’t take advantage of this huge potential – all we need to do is to give nature more space. For the last seven years I have wanted to support the scaling up of nature recovery, and now I finally can, through the European Young Rewilders. With Europe’s amazing young people on board, I’m excited to see what we and they can achieve.”


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