RSK Wilding Director Jon Davies recently featured in City A.M. discussing the different uses of rewilding in the commercial market. In the article, Jon provided an insight into how rewilding could be used to reverse the UK’s biodiversity decline and how businesses could get involved.
“Think of the patches of barren land around pylons or beside motorways that Britons travel past every day. Wasteland littered with cigarette stubs around substations or abandoned factories,” Jon explained. “Many British companies own tens of thousands of hectares of this type of non-operational land or so-called soft estate. Now imagine teams of ecologists working on this barren soil. They are digging ponds, planting hedgerows, reawakening dormant peat, stripping poisoned topsoil and sowing wildflowers, all to kickstart the land’s own ability to regenerate.”
This kind of commercial rewilding is not really happening yet, but according to Jon there is an opportunity for this to change thanks to a combination of Brexit, the proposed new Environmental Land Management scheme and the Environment Bill. For example, farmers who will no longer have EU subsidies may want to generate income by rewilding their land, and developers will soon need to pay to offset their adverse effects on biodiversity. Many businesses could get involved by putting their non-operational land to good use.
“If companies with dead land could … start to rewild it to offset their own biodiversity impact, in 10 years’ time we could see a Britain where land is becoming healthy again,” he said.
“If we do this right, the rewilding of Britain could be seen by future generations as a milestone comparable to the creation of the National Trust or the post-war advent of listed buildings – the time when we slammed on the brakes and started to turn around the twin juggernauts of climate change and biodiversity loss,” Jon concludes.
You can read the full article on the City A.M. website.