Return to the Wildwood?

This year’s annual Dartmoor Society public debate is entitled ‘Return to the Wildwood? Is rewilding the future for Dartmoor?’ It will be held  on Saturday 29 October 2016 10am­-5pm at Melton Village Hall. Unfortunately I will be on the Isles of Scilly so am unable to attend. Nevertheless I would urge anyone interested in this topic to attend. I suspect that the debate at times will be rather heated as for some of the players there is a great deal at stake.

Wistman's 1

Matthew Kelly, Professor of History at Northumbria University, and author of Quartz and Feldspar: Dartmoor ­ A British Landscape in Modern Times will chair the day and he has written about the topic here where he coined the phrase that I use a lot ‘soft rewilding’.

Other speakers include Robert Cook; Lecturer in Education for Sustainability, Plymouth University ‘Just How Wild Should We Be?’; Ann Willcocks; Dartmoor Farmer and Commoner ‘Why Bother?’; Miles King; Environmentalist “Rewilding: scary monsters and fairy tales? Or nature and people.” and Tom Greeves; Cultural Environmentalist ‘8000 years of culture in an upland environment ­ the elephant in the room?’.

You can download the flyer here and book for the event which costs £20 here.

In our post Brexit world the fate of subsidies for Upland farmers is a huge topic for debate and a massive concern for many. I am attending a meeting of the Upland Alliance on this on Thursday and it will undoubtedly feature a great deal in my PhD research. There are huge opportunities and huge threats depending on where you are standing and this conference will no doubt unpick some of this.

Rewilding means many things to many different people and it is a very loaded expression. The conference on the 29th October is therefore an important contribution to the debate.


2 thoughts on “Return to the Wildwood?

  1. Thanks Adrian.

    I am looking forward to taking part (I may have a few things to say about Fingle!). I also like the notion of soft and hard rewilding, but I was also thinking that it would be useful to draw up a schematic showing what I think of as “the rewilding continuum”. This may become rather complicated though….

    • Following on from that comment, it would be great if Adrian felt like doing a post defining how he personally interprets the terms ‘hard’ and ‘soft rewilding’. So that we could be clear on a distinction between the two, at least so far as the context of this blog is concerned.

      Of course, these phrases are fluid and hugely up for discussion – to put it mildly!

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