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

Wilder nature

We aim to increase the amount of land where natural processes function freely without intervention, as well as enhance the overall ecological health of rewilding landscapes. We focus on wildlife comeback by increasing populations of keystone species, either by supporting their natural recovery, or through reintroduction and restocking, as well as measures to support human-wildlife coexistence.

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Casa Cisterna

Nature for People

Rewilding can deliver important economic benefits – for example, jobs and revenues generated by nature-based enterprises, or the provision of cost-effective climate change mitigation. Furthermore, for large parts of society the benefits of wilder nature go far beyond the economic, involving aspects of mental and physical health, recreation and culture.

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Building engagement

Rewilding Europe places great emphasis on reaching out to people and capturing hearts and minds. We create engaging content to promote the benefits of rewilding, showcase the impact of the work being carried out together with partners in our rewilding landscapes, and influence the target groups that are key to scaling up across Europe.

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Scaling up rewilding

We aim to engage, inspire and empower others to adopt and apply rewilding principles, models and tools, both within rewilding landscapes and other places across the continent. Strategic partnerships, networks, training, and a range of tools are supporting this.

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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 six members from six different countries, was established in September 2012.

After more than 12 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 the rewilding movement forward across the continent, Rewilding Europe will continue to act as a pioneer and frontrunner.

By the end of 2023, Rewilding Europe is working in ten 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 8 lead positions with some 35 staff in total. Rewilding Europe has its main office based in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, while our local partner organisations have offices in the rewilding landscapes across Europe. Read more about Rewilding Europe in the public disclosures.

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