Rewilding is fast becoming a mainstream practice for managing land for nature recovery in the UK, alongside traditional conservation which still plays a vital role. There are already 72 rewilding sites and 19 rewilding groups around the country. Rewilding has its origins in the United States, so in our much smaller and more densely populated nation which lacks true ‘wilderness’, rewilding is being interpreted and practiced differently, while being based on the same core concepts.
This webinar will shed light on why rewilding has inspired so many to support it. It will outline what it is (and isn’t), look at the differences between rewilding and traditional conservation, and where those practices blur, and explore the nature and variety of rewilding projects in the UK, including Heal’s plans. The webinar will also touch briefly on rewilding as a way to mitigate climate change and help with adaptation, and explain how tree planting programmes and rewilding approaches differ in carbon sequestration and biodiversity outcomes.
There will be a short section on reintroductions, including beavers, bison, wildcats and other species, and consider whether lynx and wolves are ever likely to be back amongst us in the future. The webinar will end with some recommended reading for those interested in developing their knowledge further.
Jan Stannard is a founder trustee of the national rewilding charity Heal, which launched in March 2020 to raise money to buy land at mid-scale (400-600 acres/160-240ha) in England for nature recovery, climate change action and wellbeing. The charity’s goal is to create a new site in every English county, 48 sites in total covering 24,000 acres.
Heal has already raised nearly half a million pounds in donations, secured finance for its foundation rewilding site in the south of England, built a following of over 10,000 people and established over 20 business partnerships. Thousands of people have sponsored ‘Heal 3x3’ squares, 3m by 3m patches of land within the first project, which will be allocated their unique what3words addresses following the acquisition of the land.
Jan is also a co-founder and non-executive director of Bookmycharge, the bookable EV charging service, dubbed ‘Airbnb for electric cars’. She moved into the charity sector after 40 years’ experience in business, having served on company boards in the strategic communications and digital marketing sectors. She first became active in campaigning for wildlife in 2015 when she set up a local swift group, which has since organised the installation of hundreds of swift boxes. She also oversaw the largest ever amphibian ladder project in England in 2018, helping stop migrating toads from drowning in road drains.
She has a BA in Geography and a first-class honours degree in Psychology, and while studying for the latter, qualified as an executive coach and trained as a resilience specialist.