Our story

Making Europe a Wilder Place

Our story

Making Europe a Wilder Place

Our mission

We want to make Europe a wilder place, with more space for wild nature, wildlife and natural processes. In bringing back the variety of life, we will continue to explore new ways for people to enjoy and earn a fair living from the wild.

Our vision

Wild nature is recognised as a fundamental part of Europe’s heritage and an essential element in a modern, prosperous and healthy society.

Our aim

To create large, rewilded landscapes in at least 10 different regions across Europe. These will demonstrate how Rewilding Europe’s vision can be put into practice on a far larger scale.

“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
Managing Director of Rewilding Europe

What we're doing

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

Rewilding areas

Our diverse selection of pan-European rewilding areas showcase rewilding in action, building momentum and helping to reconnect people with wild nature.

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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 areas all across Europe through the lending of keystone species, such as bison and wild horses.

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European Safari Company

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 safari

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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About Rewilding Europe

Rewilding Europe was formally established on 28 June 2011 as an independent foundation registered in the Netherlands. The four co-founders of Rewilding Europe are Frans Schepers (WWF Netherlands) Staffan Widstrand (Wild Wonders of Europe), Neil Birnie (Conservation Capital) and Wouter Helmer (ARK Nature).

As an independent organisation, we have established ourselves 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, starting with four members from four different countries, was established in September 2012, as part of our governance structure.

After more than six years of committed work, Rewilding Europe is now well underway and has made considerable progress. 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.

By the end of 2017, Rewilding Europe was working across 17 European countries, with staff members, board members, ambassadors and volunteers. Our lean-and-mean central team currently represents 10 key positions, based in seven different European countries with its home office in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.

Neil Birnie, Frans Schepers, Wouter Helmer and Staffan Widstrand at the release of European bison in the Southern Carpathians in 2014.

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