Our story

Making Europe a Wilder Place

Florian Möllers / Wild Wonders of Europe

Our story

Making Europe a Wilder Place

Our mission

We want to demonstrate the benefits of wilder nature through the rewilding of diverse European landscapes, and to inspire and enable others to engage in rewilding by providing tools and practical expertise.

Our vision

Wild nature is valued and treated as an essential element of a prosperous and healthy society, with far more space provided for wildlife and natural processes.

Our goal

Rewilding is being practiced at scale across Europe. The application of rewilding principles, models and tools is delivering measurable, demonstrable, and sustained benefits for nature and people. With many actors we create a Europe that is richer in nature and more resilient to climate change.

“Rewilding breathes life back into our landscapes.
It helps us reconnect with the wonders of Europe’s spectacular wild nature.
It is our best hope for a future where people and nature not only co-exist, but flourish.”

Frans Schepers
Executive Director of Rewilding Europe

What we're doing

Rewilding Europe operates a number of interconnected initiatives to help make Europe a wilder place:

Pioneering approach

We offer a new and pioneering approach to nature recovery. With natural processes playing a vital role shaping landscapes, nature is fully capable of taking care of itself.

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Agricultural landscape, Ribeira de Vilar Maior Valley, Greater Coa Valley, Western Iberia, Rewilding Portugal, Rewilding Europe, Portugal, Europe

Rewilding landscapes

We are working to rewild 15 landscapes across Europe. These act as practical demonstrations of rewilding principles, models and tools. By showing what rewilding can achieve, these new wilder landscapes inspire others to engage in rewilding.

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Carpathian Mountains, Romania

Climate positive

Rewilding can play a game-changing role in helping us to mitigate the scale and impact of climate change, while simultaneously enhancing biodiversity. As a nature-based solution, rewilding is practical, inspirational, cost-effective and available now.

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European Rewilding Network

A platform which allows rewilding initiatives across Europe to exchange insight and information, and share practical experiences in rewilding.

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Rewilding Europe Capital

Europe’s first rewilding enterprise funding facility provides financial loans to businesses which support rewilding in Europe and generate income and jobs based on wild values.

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European Wildlife Bank

A pioneering tool to help restore wildlife populations in rewilding landscapes all across Europe through the lending of keystone species, such as bison and wild horses.

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Rewilding Europe Travel

We are promoting the many benefits of rewilding, raise awareness of European wild nature, and develop nature-based tourism such as wildlife watching and safari-style experiences.

Take a rewilding trip

Creating a policy environment

Together with a range of policy and scientific experts, we are working to promote a positive policy environment for rewilding, both at EU and national level.

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Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe

History

Rewilding Europe was formally established on 28 June 2011 as an independent, non-for-profit foundation (ANBI status) registered in the Netherlands. The four co-founders of Rewilding Europe are Frans Schepers, Staffan Widstrand, Neil Birnie and Wouter Helmer. Rewilding Europe currently incorporates two limited liability companies, the Rewilding European Capital B.V. and the Rewilding Europe B.V..

As an independent organisation, Rewilding Europe has established itself as a pan-European initiative, operating at the frontline of rewilding at a European scale. We work together with numerous partners, both at a European, national and local level. A Supervisory Board, with now five members from five different countries, was established in September 2012. The Rewilding Europe Circle, an assembly of ambassadors and advisors, was established in 2015.

After more than ten years of committed work, Rewilding Europe is now well underway and has made considerable progress, as can be seen in our Annual Reviews and regular reports. The rewilding process in Europe has achieved significant momentum. As it takes this new conservation movement forward across the continent, Rewilding Europe will continue to act as a pioneer and frontrunner.

By mid 2022, Rewilding Europe is working in nine large rewilding landscapes across Europe, with staff- and board members, ambassadors and volunteers from 18 European countries. Our lean-and-mean central team currently represents 7 lead positions with some 16 staff in total. Rewilding Europe is based in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Read more about Rewilding Europe in the public disclosures.

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