Rewilding – A brave new idea or a re-creation of the past?
A conversation with Prof. Martin Bell (President, The Sussex Archaeological Society) and Dr. Tony Whitbread (President, Sussex Wildlife Trust).
Rewilding is the restoration of ecosystems by restoring the natural processes that drive those ecosystems – so it is about rebuilding nature rather than preserving what is already there. But is this really different to the nature conservation that has been done for decades?
Rewilding in its strictest sense allows nature to take its course whatever that may be, what challenges does that present for nature conservation management?
There can also be a temptation to think that rewilding is returning nature to some imagined “wild” point in the past. But was there such a point and even if there was is it at all relevant today?
Is rewilding building something new, or rebuilding something old?
And does it matter?
Whatever the case it is always good to learn from the past, not to copy it but to inform the future. This conversation with Martin Bell, a leading thinker in archaeology and President of The Sussex Archaeological Society and Tony Whitbread President of Sussex Wildlife Trust will be fascinating.