The European Rewilding Network’s “Rewilding Intro” saw Dominic Buscall introduce the Wild Ken Hill initiative in the UK. The overall aim of these mini-webinars is to promote further exchange between network members and thereby enhance rewilding outcomes.
Rewilding Europe’s European Rewilding Network (ERN) is designed to support practical, result-oriented rewilding, enhancing rewilding outcomes by facilitating the exchange of information and ideas between members. There are now over 60 members across 27 European countries involved in the network, engaged in everything from the large-scale restoration of natural processes to the development of nature-based enterprises.
To give each member the opportunity to share their story, achievements and expertise, and to further develop beneficial exchange across the network, the ERN has recently launched “Rewilding Intros”. These 30-minute long mini-webinars will take place every two months and supplement the standard quarterly ERN webinars, which focus on rewilding themes and typically involve a number of speakers. Starting with the second Rewilding Intro scheduled for late August, they will all be open to the public (more details to follow).
The first ERN Rewilding Intro, held at the end of June, saw 18 people from eight European countries (all ERN members) come together to hear Dominic Buscall introduce Wild Ken Hill. This progressive UK rewilding initiative, which joined the ERN in 2020 and is based in the county of Norfolk in eastern England, is working to enhance wild nature, mitigate climate change and boost the local economy.
Wild Ken Hill has demonstrated the benefits of transitioning to farming models that place a far higher value on wild nature, and which enable the diversification of revenue streams. In addition to the land being rewilded, the Ken Hill estate also practices regenerative agriculture on around 600 hectares, which helps to improve soils and biodiversity.
The three-pronged approach to land management employed at Wild Ken Hill, which combines rewilding, regenerative agriculture and traditional conservation, could potentially be replicated at other sites across the UK. The high profile Knepp Wildland rewilding initiative in Sussex (also an ERN member) has already demonstrated the benefits of transitioning to a farming model that places a far higher value on wild nature, and which enable the diversification of revenue streams.
“I would say rewilding is definitely catching on in UK farming,” says Dominic Buscall. “I know of three or four farms in or around Norfolk that are engaged in rewilding projects. I hope the example of Wild Ken Hill will inspire other farmers to follow suit.”
Today rewilding is gaining momentum as a progressive and effective approach to conservation in Europe. Underpinning this trend, the burgeoning European Rewilding Network (ERN) continues to foster collaboration and amplify results.
Founded by Rewilding Europe in 2013, the aim of the ERN is to enhance the efforts of each member by facilitating the exchange of skills, insight and experience. Members meet regularly, usually via webinar, while nature-based businesses can also apply to Rewilding Europe Capital, Rewilding Europe’s enterprise loan facility.
The criteria for ERN membership were revised at the end of 2019, as the network shifts its focus from expansion to support for practical, result-oriented rewilding. Rewilding Europe extends a warm welcome to all European rewilding initiatives and encourages them to apply for ERN membership.