New publication – sharing practices on natural grazing in Europe

July 13, 2015

Today, Rewilding Europe launches a new publication focusing on sharing practices on natural grazing as a key ecological process. The publication “Natural Grazing – Practices in the rewilding of cattle and horses” will help rewilding initiatives from all over Europe to learn and adopt some of the latest lessons and practices on setting up and developing natural grazing initiatives.

Wild Bosnian mountain horses grazing in Velebit Mountain rewilding area, Croatia.
Wild Bosnian mountain horses grazing in Velebit Mountain rewilding area, Croatia.
Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

The publication includes experiences from more than 25 years from all over Europe. The focus is on cattle and horse breeds, as ecological replacements of the wild horse and aurochs.

After two major background publications about the role of Europe’s most important bovine (The Aurochs – Born to be Wild, 2013) and wild horses (Rewilding Horses in Europe, 2014), this newest publication of Rewilding Europe provides a lot of information on how to successfully develop natural grazing projects in practice. This publication therefore targets area managers, reserve authorities, private landowners and other interested parties that work or have plans to start natural grazing on their lands.

Roeland Vermeulen, the main editor of the publication, is director of FREE Nature – an organization with some 25 years of experience on rewilding of horses and cattle in tens of thousands of hectares in different parts of Europe. Rewilding Europe has asked FREE Nature to unlock its knowledge and experience through this publication to practitioners from all across Europe.

How to help herds to become self-supporting, human versus natural selection, avoiding inbreeding, dealing with water shortage, damage control dealing with predators, how to achieve natural densities, veterinary aspects, natural grazing and public – this is just a brief selection of the subjects addressed in the report. Public safety is another important issue on which the brochure gives useful information and instructions.

The information in this brochure will not only serve as guidelines for local area and herd managers with whom Rewilding Europe has already set up large-scale projects on natural grazing in different rewilding areas. Understanding all these aspects will help all practitioners across Europe to set the right steps in the rewilding process and become successful in developing natural grazing initiatives in their areas.

The use of wild and semi-wild herbivores is an important part of the rewilding concept – and supports natural processes such as natural grazing. Rewilding Europe recently presented a working definition of rewilding, which describes in more detail the concept in the European context.

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