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Yorkshire Rewilding Network – enabling rewilding throughout Yorkshire


I recently met with the Yorkshire Rewilding Network to find out about the thriving community of members and some of the interesting initiatives they are involved with.


With challenges faced through climate change and habitats being lost through development, Yorkshire’s natural environment has been under threat. One way that people can help is through re-wilding.


Many regional advocates of rewilding’s benefits for nature have pulled together to form a network of rewilders under the banner of The Yorkshire Rewilding Network.



When people mention rewilding many people automatically think of initiatives that get press coverage such as returning beavers or keystone creatures to remote areas but as I found out by talking to key members of the network that this is not the case. The Network promotes much more including suggestions of how everyone across Yorkshire can make small changes to make a huge difference to encouraging Yorkshire’s wildlife.


The Yorkshire Rewilding Network explain that their idea of rewilding is “bringing nature back home, kickstarting processes that allow nature to reinstate itself to flourish and change, to fill the gaps and diversity to generate abundance”.


We know that the landscape has been altered by man over thousands of years, clearing areas and controlling land use leaving less and less space for wildlife. The rewilding advocates hope that by thinking in a different way and engaging people to rewild that new habitats can be created to help nature.



The group explain that the Rewilding Network deliberately does not have any targets unlike traditional conservation management – Rewilding is all about simply “letting the natural process unfold”.


Whilst when it comes to rewilding, the larger the area the better, the network understand the more people that can be engaged to rewild even with smaller changes in their back gardens that this can make a huge difference to nature and its biodiversity.


The Yorkshire Rewilding Network have a number of ideas as to what people can do to help rewilding on blogs and forums on their website. Small initiatives such as putting a pond in your garden, creating a window box or planting pollen rich wild flowers can make a huge difference to the insect life in the area.


Their ethos is the more you can leave nature to take the lead, the better.


But as well as the smaller scale projects around gardens and small verges, the Yorkshire Rewilding Network also get involved with advising on larger scale projects. Liaising with stakeholders at all levels the network help facilitate larger scale initiatives such as woodland creation, peatland restoration, reduction in the use of pesticides & fertilisers and river improvements.



So what can you do to get involved? The Yorkshire Rewilding Network encourage people to try some of the following activity if you own a garden or some land…


  • Embrace Mess! Scrub, long grass, untidiness and decay is all excellent for wildlife

  • Avoid the use of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides – use organic pest control methods instead

  • Plant native species of plants as they support a wider diversity of creatures

  • Wildflowers have more nectar and pollen for insects than flowers that have been developed for colour and form.


If you are interested in finding out more about the network or are interested in joining – visit www.yorkshirerewildingnetwork.org.uk


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