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From issue:   Issue:   British Wildlife 32.4 February 2021

Rewilding and intervention: complementary philosophies for nature conservation in Britain

By - Rob Fuller, James Gilroy

Rewilding and interventionist management are often framed as opposites; at one extreme, wild nature is left to forge its own path while at the other, hands-on management is used to meet the needs of particular species or communities. In the second article in our Wilding for Conservation series, however, Rob Fuller and James Gilroy argue that the similarities between these philosophies are greater than might be expected, and explore how rewilding and intervention might be deployed in combination to produce the best possible results for wildlife in Britain.

Nature conservation in Britain has developed a strong ‘interventionist’ paradigm. It is assumed that pre-industrial land uses were relatively benign towards nature and that conserving traditional practices, or undertaking other actions to meet the particular needs of species, is essential in order to maintain diversity. The concept of rewilding, frequently underpinned by assumptions that natural processes will deliver better outcomes, challenges this ‘interventionist’ approach.

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"British Wildlife is the pulsating heart of the UK nature conservation movement."

Matthew Oates, National Trust

"The most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times"

Michael McCarthy, The Independent

"Packed with readable, thoughtful, up to date articles; written by ecologists and naturalists for ecologists and naturalists"

Nick Baker, Presenter and Naturalist