I acted as ghost writer for the founder of Heal Rewilding in this guest piece in the Conservation Optimism blog. It was written to increase understanding of rewilding and also to engage the audience with Heal’s mission, as a newly founded charity. The full piece is below.
‘Rewilding is an exercise in returning more of the planet to nature. But truly understanding rewilding is an exercise in wonder. Learning to interconnect every tiny part of nature can be a daily marvel.
As humans, we tend to normalise the ‘now’. We forget that things used to be different, sometimes not even that long ago. For the UK, looking back just 100 years, we can see that there is huge potential to increase the presence of nature. Picture more than twice as many birds in your garden. Picture almost thirty times as many hedgehogs! Imagine a world that buzzes with life – a countryside of thick hedgerows and trees, all providing food and places to live for a wide range of animals, birds and insects. Imagine all of that extra beauty, whilst at the same time increasing the carbon capture potential of the land, restoring the quality of the soil and tackling our biodiversity crisis.
It is easy in this time to feel that the problems we face are too great for any one individual to possibly make a difference. But Heal was created as an organisation that can help every member of the general public do something significant about nature recovery. Our charity aim is the rewilding of nature, but we also believe that our work will help people ‘come into the peace of wild things’. Our name is our purpose: heal the land, heal nature, heal ourselves.
To inspire people and give them a sense of direct involvement, we have come up with a really exciting idea called ‘Heal 3×3’. Heal will purchase large areas of land in the UK for rewilding. An individual can donate £20 to sponsor a specific 3m x 3x square of Heal land. This square is assigned a unique three-word address using the what3words global addressing system. The supporter will know exactly which bit of land is ‘theirs’, and will even be able to view drone footage as it grows and develops. We hope that this connection will give every supporter a strong sense of being part of a valuable and inspiring rewilding project. We are also committed to engaging young people in our work. We have formed ‘Heal Future’ as a space for our young supporters (under 30) to communicate and network with ourselves and each other. We are committed to work with young voices to make sure this rewilding model is relevant for them now and long into the future.
Our work gives me a wonderful vision of a country filled with an abundance of habitat and wildlife. I hope that I have inspired you as well.’