Rewilding

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.

I have just finished reading “Wilding” by the aptly named Isabella Tree. It is the barely credible story of the decision by her and her husband to remove human interference from the huge Knepp Estate in East Sussex. For anyone who is worried by the drastic decline in biodiversity brought about by modern agricultural methods it is an essential read. The astonishing thing is the speed with which nature responded and the all-embracing range of changes wrought by the experiment.

One of the things which has stayed with me is the effects on hydrology. The River Kent, near my home, could well be described as Kendal’s Sorrow (as the Hwang Ho is called China’s Sorrow) because of its tendency to flood the town. The Kent with its tributary the Sprint (clue in the name) are two of the fastest rivers in the country yet some people think that dredging the river and speeding it up by straightening it are going to help. The rewilding of the valley above Staveley and the re-introduction of beavers would be far cheaper and undoubtedly more effective than the appalling plans to fence in the river behind hideous barriers as has been done in Keswick. 

In reply to Rog Wilko:

It's amazing how fast nature moves to take over again, you only need to look at our garden for proof. 

On a serious note though, high river defence is popping up all over the place, it  causes the water to move faster and break out somewhere else. If we carry on following this plan we will end up walling in every river from source to the ocean. 

 keith sanders 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

I believe they are introducing Beaver north of Kendal.

keith s

 mondite 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> The Kent with its tributary the Sprint (clue in the name) are two of the fastest rivers in the country yet some people think that dredging the river and speeding it up by straightening it are going to help.

Well it would,probably, help in the immediate area. You just need to be relaxed about what happens to people downstream.

I think there are moves in the right direction but there will be a lot of pushback and complaints since the advantage of massive barriers is people can see you are doing something whereas other stuff is a lot more subtle.

Saw a video about how fencing off the river in grazed fields can help since a)it avoids further erosion and b)the ground isnt so compacted and so allows it to soak away rather than just wash right across and cause flash flooding.

 Philip 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

The populist view on what "wild" looks like skews these things. In general, people seem to like plants, but not "weeds" unless they look nice, then they're wild flower meadows. Insects are bad (what are the flowers for then?) but the birds that feed on them are good. The birds that eat the birds are also good, but not the birds that eat dead birds. The mammals are good, unless they are a baddie in a Disney cartoon (rats bad, mice good, foxes - depends).

So then when it comes to rewilding - is it the measurable the things above that the average person wants or is it something more academic about biomass / diversity.

Are we going to have isolated wild spots that are reserves (comparable with game reserves) to prevent extinction, or are we going to have a general increase (in which case cutting pesticides, leaving more green space around houses, wider hedges, and less mowing).

 Timy2 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Have you read Feral by Jon montbiot(may have spellt wrong) its along similar theme.

In reply to Rog Wilko:

Anywhere devoid of intensive human intervention is a wildlife haven. The two main unintentional ones that spring to mind are the Chernobyl exclusion zone and the Korean DMZ between the north and south. 

 guffers_hump 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Timy2:

Always read his articles on the Guardian. Seems to be the only proper environmentalist on that rag. Great bloke and does a lot on farming, especially non organic and monoculture farming and how its damaging to wildlife and the soil.

 Lankyman 18 Feb 2021
In reply to keith sanders:

> I believe they are introducing Beaver north of Kendal.

Are you referring to the reintroduced beavers on the Lowther estate? That's well to the north of Kendal on an unrelated catchment to the Kent. I saw a report on the local Beeb news a few weeks ago. They didn't give the exact location away for obvious reasons but it looked like a tributary of the Lowther which runs into the Eden.

 Arms Cliff 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Beavers seem to be pretty good at ‘accidentally’ spreading out in other areas of reintroduction, so it might not be long until they have moved to different catchments. 

 Billhook 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

There has been a couple of programmes about her and the estate on Country File.

Aside from what many posters have commented on about wildlife benefit, what impressed me was that the cattle were allowed to go where they wanted and that the cattle gradually started to not need the human input they'd normally get in enclosed pasture cattle.

 Eric9Points 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Arms Cliff:

> Beavers seem to be pretty good at ‘accidentally’ spreading out in other areas of reintroduction, so it might not be long until they have moved to different catchments. 

Quite.

I believe in rural Canada beavers are regarded as a pest. Obviously they are effective in what they do but to a point where if they spread onto other farmland I'm afraid it won't end well for them. 

In reply to Eric9Points:

> Quite.

> I believe in rural Canada beavers are regarded as a pest. Obviously they are effective in what they do but to a point where if they spread onto other farmland I'm afraid it won't end well for them. 

Yes, not everyone wants their land flooded. Beavers in the right places = good, beavers in the wrong places = bad. There is also the issue of natural predators. In Canada, there are many things that eat beavers but not so in the UK which might lead to an imbalance in population or a need for control which doesn't always sit well.

There is often a misconception that true wilderness excludes human activity and yet you would be hard pushed to identify a landscape (with the exception of Antartica) that has not had human activity on it for thousands of years. Most animals have evolved with some form of human predation as a part of their experience.

What has changed is the number of humans on the planet and the industrialisation of their activities.

 Arms Cliff 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Eric9Points:

There’s a lot of decent info available for when beavers come into conflict with human land uses e.g. https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/our-positions-and-casework/our-positions/species/beaver-reintroduction-in-the-uk/

In reply to keith sanders:

> I believe they are introducing Beaver north of Kendal.

Hi Keith

great news if true.

Rog

In reply to Rog Wilko:

There’s also some interesting work been going on in Swindale where the sometime “improvement” works involving straightening the river have been reversed which has not only reduced flood risk downstream but increased biodiversity in the catchment. No beavers yet, though, I think. Interesting blog you’ll find if you search Swindale Beck. There was a podcast on R4 which may still be available. 

In reply to Timy2:

> Have you read Feral by Jon montbiot(may have spellt wrong) its along similar theme.

George, not John I think.

In reply to Arms Cliff:

> There’s a lot of decent info available for when beavers come into conflict with human land uses e.g. https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/our-positions-and-casework/our-positions/species/beaver-reintroduction-in-the-uk/

The problem is that you don't have any of these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0R8pX1BAabc&t=80s

 Arms Cliff 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

Not currently an issue with such a small and well monitored population countrywide. 
 

My hope is that in the future, land owners where beavers are making dams and slowing the water, and thus reducing flooding downstream, will be able to get paid for these services to the environment, rather than the money being spent on concrete and metal walls next to rivers in towns. 

In reply to Arms Cliff:

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the beaver and its engineering genius. But their presence in and around farm land will become a problem so it will be important to have some sort of control system which might not simply be re-location.

 cb294 18 Feb 2021
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

>...... In Canada, there are many things that eat beavers but not so in the UK which might lead to an imbalance in population or a need for control which doesn't always sit well.

The main "predator" is cars! Same for otters and wolves here in Germany, sadly!

CB

to edit, there is not THAT many predators eating beavers, humans aside, the odd one may get dug out by a bear, but otherwise? I think beavers are limited more by territory rather than predators, as their behaviour protects them rather well. Anyway, for a species to be limited by predation you need some special ecological circumstances! It happens, but is a clear exception. Even in systems involving predator/prey cycles like snowy owls/polar foxes/long tailed jaegers and lemmings, only a minority of lemmings in collapse years die by predation.

second edit: That is a cool video, but the chance that the bear was successful before the beavers fucked off through their underwater exit is essentially zero, unless he managed to catch some young beaver pups (?) unawares. Adults? Unlikely! The young may die even if they manage to initially escape, if they are too young....

Post edited at 22:35
In reply to cb294:

> >...... In Canada, there are many things that eat beavers but not so in the UK which might lead to an imbalance in population or a need for control which doesn't always sit well.

> The main "predator" is cars! Same for otters and wolves here in Germany, sadly!

> CB

> to edit, there is not THAT many predators eating beavers, humans aside, the odd one may get dug out by a bear, but otherwise? I think beavers are limited more by territory rather than predators, as their behaviour protects them rather well. Anyway, for a species to be limited by predation you need some special ecological circumstances! It happens, but is a clear exception. Even in systems involving predator/prey cycles like snowy owls/polar foxes/long tailed jaegers and lemmings, only a minority of lemmings in collapse years die by predation.

> second edit: That is a cool video, but the chance that the bear was successful before the beavers f*cked off through their underwater exit is essentially zero, unless he managed to catch some young beaver pups (?) unawares. Adults? Unlikely! The young may die even if they manage to initially escape, if they are too young....

I don't think you are correct. Predation has a huge impact. Remember that the predation is predominantly on the very young and the very old or sick. Not only that, but predation effects behaviours so that animals act differently. Look how the re-introduction of wolves to Yellowstone affected the whole ecology of the park simply by moving the Elk herds around.

 Sandpiper 19 Feb 2021

In addition to the Lowther site mentioned above, a second license has been granted to reintroduce beavers at a private undisclosed site in south Cumbria, although I believe that this reintroduction has not actually happened yet.

 Philip 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

> Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the beaver and its engineering genius. But their presence in and around farm land will become a problem so it will be important to have some sort of control system which might not simply be re-location.

They have already issued licences for beaver cull in Scotland.

Post edited at 07:52
 SteveX 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

What comes first though, Trees or Beavers? Cumbria and the Lakes and Dales national parks are pretty barren place IME, I see more diversity of wildlife down by the Irwell near my warehouse in Bury than I do in the Lakes or Dales. The Howgills is a Desert.

So if reintroducing Beavers which use trees, I assume a lot more trees will have to be grown first.

Its interesting that the impetus for re wilding seems to be anthropogenic, to stop the flooding of the town, not a recognition of the intrinsic worth of re-wilding.

In reply to Rog Wilko:

In terms of protecting Staveley, planting on the hillside above will have more impact than a few beaver dams in the valley, better to reduce the run off in the first place. Ideally do both. 

In reply to SteveX:

Beavers need a decent amount to eat, so their favourite species need to be established before they are introduced. 

In reply to SteveX:

> Its interesting that the impetus for re wilding seems to be anthropogenic, to stop the flooding of the town, not a recognition of the intrinsic worth of re-wilding.

I don’t think you can read Isabella Tree and draw that conclusion. More than anything rewilding is about restoring biodiversity and if people don’t think that’s worth doing for its own sake then it’s worth drawing people’s attention to the looming catastrophe of which the loss of pollinators is merely the first chapter of a very long book.

 mondite 19 Feb 2021
In reply to SteveX:

> Its interesting that the impetus for re wilding seems to be anthropogenic, to stop the flooding of the town, not a recognition of the intrinsic worth of re-wilding.

Its an effective selling point to those who might not be interested in its intrinsic worth.  There is a lot of pushback against any rewilding so pointing out the economic benefits of doing so can only help.

At the moment subsidies help pay for several practices which increase the risk of flooding which then needs more money spending to counter. Far better to target those subsidies at something which will reduce the risk, even if the amount paid goes up a bit, than keep spending far larger amounts on defenses.

 finneyles 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

not so great if what has happened at bamff and is making its way down the isla and up the burns of Angus happens there too

 SteveX 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

It sounds like I need to read that book, and I was not really commenting on the motives of the author, but rather the people of Kendal. Sadly people only act when there is a clear and present danger, in this case flooding, 2 feet of shitty water in the living room rearranges priorities.


ps, book ordered with the Library service.

 

 SteveX 19 Feb 2021
In reply to mondite:

> Its an effective selling point to those who might not be interested in its intrinsic worth.  There is a lot of pushback against any rewilding so pointing out the economic benefits of doing so can only help.

Yes, its a common and effective tactic using poster species, WWF having the Bamboo Slime Slug on posters would not have been as effective as using the Panda.

Post edited at 10:17
In reply to SteveX:

> It sounds like I need to read that book, and I was not really commenting on the motives of the author, but rather the people of Kendal. Sadly people only act when there is a clear and present danger, in this case flooding, 2 feet of shitty water in the living room rearranges priorities.

Unfortunately, many of those living in the flood threatened parts of Kendal quite understandably imagine that a big wall along the river will protect them. The idea that the solution is geographically remote from the flooding problem is hard to grasp. The Kent valley upstream is of very little economic value and a very small proportion of the money being earmarked for flood mitigation would buy out those interests very generously where that was required for rewilding or indeed for re-engineering the river to slow down flow and retain water in the upstream catchment. The astonishing thing about the Knepp rewilding is how rapidly nature responds and I believe the withdrawal of agriculture from the upper Kent valley would have similar dramatic beneficial effects.

> ps, book ordered with the Library service.

Once you get into it - bit of a slow burn start - I think you’ll find it hard to put down.

 Timy2 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

The book English Pastoral by James Rebanks also covers a bit abour rewilding at his farm in Lakes.

 nastyned 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

A friend of mine sent me a link to the Rewilding Network recently (https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding-network) and I was delighted to see there was a project near me. Then I found out it was on a military firing range!

Post edited at 14:24
 mondite 19 Feb 2021
In reply to nastyned:

> Then I found out it was on a military firing range!

Training areas are surprisingly good for nature with relatively large areas of lightly used land.

Salisbury Plain for example is large and even having tanks rumbling around can actually benefit nature causing damage not dissimilar to that of some very large herbivores.

In reply to Timy2:

> The book English Pastoral by James Rebanks also covers a bit abour rewilding at his farm in Lakes.

Yes, I heard the readings on BBC R4, but haven't yet read the book. One thing I remember from the readings was when his father said something like like "See that tractor ploughing? What's wrong?" The answer was "No gulls following it - the soil is devoid of life." Very scary stuff. 

In reply to Rog Wilko:

>  The Kent valley upstream is of very little economic value and a very small proportion of the money being earmarked for flood mitigation would buy out those interests very generously where that was required for rewilding or indeed for re-engineering the river to slow down flow and retain water in the upstream catchment.

I've just checked out the estimate for the work on the Kent just about to start - £72 million. It's going to take quite a few years, so it's a pity they're not starting with a big emphasis on upper catchment waster retention work, though they do have some minor plans on that area.

In reply to Rog Wilko:

That's crazy. For £72m you could replant 120,000 hectares with very young trees, with roughly 1500 per hectare, if using volunteer labour. Which is roughly half the LDNP. 

 druridge 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

We tend to hear most about problems with flooding etc at the lower ends of river catchments. Almost invariably these problems begin (often as many little problems) on the upper end of the catchment. Solving these issues higher up is usually an awful lot cheaper, easier and less intrusive than great swathes of concrete and canalisation lower down . I'm afraid too many of the decision makers learnt their craft in less environmentally sensitive times

In reply to summo:

> That's crazy. For £72m you could replant 120,000 hectares with very young trees, with roughly 1500 per hectare, if using volunteer labour. Which is roughly half the LDNP. 

Except 120,000 hectares would cost, what, 120 - 600 million? Would depend on the land quality etc.

Post edited at 16:04
 Lankyman 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Sandpiper:

> In addition to the Lowther site mentioned above, a second license has been granted to reintroduce beavers at a private undisclosed site in south Cumbria, although I believe that this reintroduction has not actually happened yet.

They ought to put them at Barbon - its name means the beaver stream.

 Mark Edwards 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

I live in the South Wales valleys and think that planting forestry on the vast area of currently denuded hilltops around here would be an easy win, but has it happened?

Maybe it’s time for some guerrilla gardening.

About 30 years ago I scattered a load of acorns around the area surrounding my house and now there are about half a dozen juvenile oaks growing well.

 Arms Cliff 19 Feb 2021
In reply to summo:

> That's crazy. For £72m you could replant 120,000 hectares with very young trees, with roughly 1500 per hectare, if using volunteer labour. Which is roughly half the LDNP. 

I guess it would be a few years before this would have a significant impact on peak flow in Kendal though? Plenty of other catchment options whilst the trees are growing like leaky dams and adding meanders back in where channels have been straightened. 

In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

> Except 120,000 hectares would cost, what, 120 - 600 million? Would depend on the land quality etc.

They could plant all the land owned by the park, NT, FC etc.. because haweswater supplies Manchester and there is a 56mile underground aqueduct linking them, I wouldn't be surprised if United utilities owns some land too. (The sighting towers used to plot the course of the aqueduct are still on the tops of some hills).

In reply to Arms Cliff:

> I guess it would be a few years before this would have a significant impact on peak flow in Kendal though? Plenty of other catchment options whilst the trees are growing like leaky dams and adding meanders back in where channels have been straightened. 

Of course, but the goal has to be to reduce peak flow or run off to a level the river can cope with. Not build ever big banks etc..  if they never play the long game, they won't ever reach that point. 

 Rob Parsons 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> I have just finished reading “Wilding” by the aptly named Isabella Tree. It is the barely credible story of the decision by her and her husband to remove human interference from the huge Knepp Estate in East Sussex.  ...

That place was feature in last year's 'Springwatch' program on the Beeb. First I'd heard of it, and I found the story fascinating.

 Rob Parsons 19 Feb 2021
In reply to Philip:

> They have already issued licences for beaver cull in Scotland.


Yes - was going to say the same thing. They're getting shot in Scotland where farmers don't want them. And meanwhile there are translocation efforts being made: some of the beavers currently being introduced in locations in England are Scottish refugees ...

In reply to summo:

The approach taken in Swindale looks promising. Nice video too.

https://freshwaterblog.net/2017/08/14/restoring-swindale-beck/

In reply to Jonathan Lagoe - UKC:

> The approach taken in Swindale looks promising. Nice video too.

Lovely. Makes me want to be there.

In reply to Jonathan Lagoe - UKC:

Looks good, but all that concrete infrastructure won't have been cheap. Need to plant high on the catchment, not just the bottom. Granted they may not own that land or have any influence. It's still progress though. 

 Lankyman 19 Feb 2021
In reply to summo:

> Looks good, but all that concrete infrastructure won't have been cheap. Need to plant high on the catchment, not just the bottom. Granted they may not own that land or have any influence. It's still progress though. 

They have planted high (or someone else?). There are lots of native saplings up on the fells between Swindale and Wet Sleddale. It will be surprising (to me) if they survive let alone thrive up there in such an exposed location.

In reply to Lankyman:

>  It will be surprising (to me) if they survive let alone thrive up there in such an exposed location.

They'll grow, provided they aren't eaten by deer or sheep. 

In reply to Arms Cliff:

> I guess it would be a few years before this would have a significant impact on peak flow in Kendal though? Plenty of other catchment options whilst the trees are growing like leaky dams and adding meanders back in where channels have been straightened. 

Perhaps so, but all the more reason to start now. In fact the website I've been looking at (I searched something like Flood Mitigation Plans for River Kent) has some references to such things, and there are photos of people building leaky dams.

In reply to Rob Parsons:

> That place was feature in last year's 'Springwatch' program on the Beeb. First I'd heard of it, and I found the story fascinating.

get the book!

In reply to Jonathan Lagoe - UKC:

> The approach taken in Swindale looks promising. Nice video too.

Thanks very much for the link; it's an excellent little video, with which I was unfamiliar. There is some amazing footage of how they have transformed the spoilt hydrology of the valley. Even I very brief climbing reference!

In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

> Lovely. Makes me want to be there.

Great climbing venue, too, when we can travel again. It's a bit of a longer walk now, with no parking permitted by the farm below the crag anymore, but that's no hardship.

In reply to Rog Wilko:

Long walks mean less people 😊

In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

> Long walks mean less people 😊

We’re thinking along the same lines.

 Rogsax 20 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

I was brought up to look across the deforested, rain leached monoculture of the Yorkshire Dales and ask, 'what if there were less sheep?'   And no walls.   And to hear the 'go back' call of the grouse as a cry for the moors before they were cultivated for shooting.    Shifting baselines - or 'hypernormalisation' - has always made discussions difficult with the first reply generally being, 'its tradition'     The visitor centre at Malham that force feeds visitors photos of sheep and dry stone walls is publicly funded gaslighting.     In the last few years it has been wonderful to see a slow turning of opinion.   Stories of the unforeseen consequences of re-introducing wolves to Yellowstone or pine martens saving red squirrels of Kielder are a re-education to us all.   Just as for climate change, until the biased and bogus opinions of some of the 'experts' is called out for what it is - a minority voice of pseudo-science platformed by wealthy land owners seeking to resist change - progress will be slow.     As Monbiot experienced from a land owner, 'the beavers will eat all my river fish'.   Jeez.     'The old road is rapidly aging, pls get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand'   The times are indeed ripe for changing.  

In reply to Rogsax:

Good post. Thanks. I feel that over just the last few months I have been almost subconsciously changing my views. I have known and loved the Lakes for well over 50 years, and as a species we tend to be comfortable with things as they were when we were growing up. The idea of the sheep being severely restricted in numbers with the resulting changes in the landscape has been something I've found hard to accept. But I have long been a lover of wild flowers and they are almost completely absent on the fells, except for in the few places which the sheep don't reach. At my age, I'll probably not see much change in this area but I think it has to come, even if only because the sheep farmers are all near retirement and their children don't want to take over.

 Eric9Points 20 Feb 2021
In reply to Rogsax:

Funnily enough this turned up on my Twitter timeline from a crofter in Ness: https://twitter.com/sweenyness/status/1363075586093154304?s=19

I think he's right, those who live on the land aren't sufficiently involved in a conversation that is dominated by us townies.

Why not rewild Cheshire?

In reply to Eric9Points:

> Why not rewild Cheshire?

I imagine there will be some areas of Cheshire which could/should be allowed to do their own thing. The example which started this thread relates to a huge estate in East Sussex, and the motivation for the project was largely owing to the fact that the nature of the land made it impossible to farm without a continuous loss of money. 

In reply to Rogsax:

My summers are spent canoeing in true wilderness and I love being there. But there is still a certain beauty in some managed landscapes. I quite like the dry stone walls, the pastoral views and the scenes of livestock grazing the fields that the Dales provide. Re-wilding is something that can work in small sections of landscape but it is unrealistic to think of a complete reversal of thousands of years of human influence. It's not a practical reality, nor perhaps should it be.  

There are some really interesting podcasts that talk about the re-introduction of top predators into the US wilderness landscapes and I think these programs are valid. But the US and the UK are poles apart in so many ways that it would be difficult to compare apples to apples.

In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

>  I quite like the dry stone walls, the pastoral views and the scenes of livestock grazing the fields that the Dales provide.

In common with many other people! The charm of the Lake District (and one of the reasons it gained IUCN recognition and its World Heritage status) resides in the interlocking of the "natural" landscape with the human geography. Unfortunately, this requires the preserving in aspic kind of conservation whereby any prospective change is seen as a threat to be repulsed at all cost. 

In reply to Rog Wilko:

I think the thing to recognise is that whilst the UK is small - at least compared to Canada - there is plenty of space to have both the classic dales landscape and regions that have been re-wilded - this is not an either or choice.

 Arms Cliff 20 Feb 2021
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux:

> Re-wilding is something that can work in small sections of landscape but it is unrealistic to think of a complete reversal of thousands of years of human influence. It's not a practical reality, nor perhaps should it be.  

I don’t think rewilding needs to have such a lofty goal as this. Most of the work at Knepp (covered in the book that started the topic) falls way short of anything like this but I’d still providing masses of habitat compared to how it was as farmland. You also really want big sections of land for it to be worthwhile. 

It would be interesting to see what happened to the dales left to their own devices, I can’t imagine trees making it into the peaty moorland, particularly when the estates stopped draining them, so the views should be maintained. I’d be happy to swap  lot of the views and pretty walls for more wildlife.

 Arms Cliff 20 Feb 2021
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> Unfortunately, this requires the preserving in aspic kind of conservation whereby any prospective change is seen as a threat to be repulsed at all cost. 

Plenty of change already happening in the Lakes, lots of farmers reducing sheep numbers, fencing off riparian zones, setting aside in-bye land to allow trees to recolonise etc. The National Trust seem keen and they own a decent amount of the park! Hopefully will look a lot different in a couple of decades. 

In reply to Arms Cliff:

Yes, and United Utilities owns a lot of the Lakes and I think their influence will be in the right direction. Also, Lowther estates own a lot of the Lakes and they’re already rewilding quite a lot of land near Penrith, or so I understand. Not that Lowther seems to be a much-loved landlord, so I’ve heard.

 AukWalk 20 Feb 2021
In reply to Arms Cliff:

I presume that where this is happening the farmers are being paid to plant trees or maintain wildflower meadows or whatever? I can't imagine many farmers deciding to do something like that if they weren't being paid for it, or at least having their lost income covered. 

I've heard of wildflower meadows and some tree planting being subsidised in the past, so presume other efforts are also being subsidised. If the government creates an environment where it pays to rewild / otherwise change land use then it will happen! I imagine very few farmers would be farming sheep if they could make more money watching a field of trees grow - of course that raises a question of whether the government should be subsidising landowners in that way, but it will certainly get results.

Edit: I suppose big landowners with an ostensibly charitable aim and the means to do so like the national trust might decide to do some rewild ing regardless of the financials, but am guessing most others wouldn't... 

Post edited at 20:10
 Arms Cliff 20 Feb 2021
In reply to AukWalk:

Yeah via the Countryside Stewardship scheme. I’ve not looked into it recently but there was still a lot of uncertainly about what the Govt would be replacing this EU model with. 


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...