Lady Park Wood has been left to develop naturally for the last 75 years, and even longer in some parts, but this minimum-intervention approach has demonstrated how rewilding woodland is not always beneficial. In the context of Lady Park Wood, George Peterken descibes the implications of leaving woodlands to run wild for biodiversity, both in terms of gains and losses, as well as concerns for safety and visitor access.
Rewilding has become fashionable in nature conservation, and for good reasons. We can no longer be satisfied with preserving the best of what we have, the prevailing aim of my youth in nature conservation, but we must develop new approaches that build on achievements so far. Rewilding is arguably the new idea with the widest resonance.