A science-based movement for wilding

 

I corresponded with a number of people over the last year about how the Dutch herbivorists and their fellow travellers have been taking over the world. The agreement amongst us is that the improper use of the term ”rewilding” by the herbivorists has to be countered, and we intend to do that by kicking off a science based movement on wilding, the interdisciplinary nature of which has the promise of bridging many fields like ecology, geography, philosophy, and ethics. The populism of the herbivorists has done little to underpin the science of wilding (1). This is also shown by the conclusions of the recent inquiry report of the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) that reviewed submitted evidence for “rewilding” (2) - you can read my submission to the inquiry here (3). The report noted that it was a contested term that had been applied to a range of visions and land management practices; that there was a need for a clear, shared understanding of the term so as to advance the debate; and there was also a need to develop an evidence base and a critical and rigorous scientific framework for its monitoring and evaluation if it was to be considered as a component of environmental policy (4). Ultimately, our hope is that a science based approach will fulfil much of that need, and will endorse the legitimacy of a cores-corridors-carnivores approach in a European context, the original concept of the term (1, 5). Bringing together those disciplines, along with other thinkers, practitioners and stakeholders, to explore objectively what has actually been achieved by wilding, rather than all the populist discourses, will lead to a more informed and rounded common ground on wilding, and hopefully stimulate an array of publications as a counter to the self-serving gatherings of the herbivorists (6) and the punishing rate at which they push out self-promotion and propaganda (1, 7-10). In a recent article that I wrote with Alison, my colleague in the Wildland Research Institute (WRi) we see wilding as true nature conservation – it is the challenge to the orthodoxy of our conservation industry that wild nature can conserve itself without our involvement (11). The more objective a view we have on this, along with feasible goals for ecological restoration, should make possible a better engagement with wilding, rather than being paralysed by imprecision and resistance.

A try-out of the science-based approach

That challenge of wild nature conserving itself was the essence of a talk that I gave with Steve, another colleague from WRi, at a mini-symposium at the University of Cumbria (UoC) a few weeks ago. Hosted by the newly established Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas (12) the symposium had the backdrop of a recent book entitled the Changing Perceptions of Nature (13). The book was co-edited by Ian Convery, the Centre’s director and a Professor of Environment & Society at UoC (14). Given that the subtitle of the symposium was “A Wilder Future?” this was a try-out of the science-based approach, and included speakers such as Sir Martin Holdgate, once Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (15) now an honorary fellow of UoC, who gave a wide overview of international co-operation on nature conservation during the 20th century; Darrel Smith, UoC, on the long history of the shifting positions of culture and nature; Erwin van Maanen of the Rewilding Foundation in the Netherlands (16) talking to his and Ian’s chapter in the book that sees wilding as the realisation and reality of a new challenge for nature in this century (17); and Paul O’Donoghue, lately of the University of Chester, and now Chief Executive of the Lynx UK Trust, who gave a fascinating account of how you go from idea to action in seeking the reinstatement of lynx to Britain. It will come as no surprise that it is lynx reinstatement that binds Paul, Ian, Erwin, and Darrell (18) as well as myself (more at a later date).

In the brief for our talk, Steve and I were asked to say something about the sliding scale of wildness. We used Steve’s illustration of a continuum of wildness to identify that it is the most wild that is missing from Britain (19). Steve talked through some very current wildness mapping of Britain that he had done for the John Muir Trust, emphasising that it was a relative scale of wildness classes, none of which approached the most-wild state of the continuum. I then argued that to move up the scale of wildness, we had to revisit the Edwards Report recommendation from 1991 on withdrawal of farming from land in National Parks, allowing the growth and development of natural vegetation, and the challenge a few years later in Wild by Design, to promote areas where ecological processes can be paramount by having the “courage and commitment to leave minimal intervention areas on a much larger scale (landscapes of thousands of hectares) and over much longer time periods (hundreds of years)”. This had been central to my evidence to the EAC on wilding, that the axiom in Britain is that a withdrawal of farming is a pre-condition of moving landscapes substantially along the wild land continuum, that we must identify large enough areas where ecological restoration and reinstatement of the large carnivores can take place, and that these areas must be given permanency and protection (3).

Since it is something that many people find difficult to grasp, I showed the natural vegetation mapping of the UK, pointing out that oak woodland of varying community types could cover over half of Britain. I noted though the difference in timescale of achieving self-replicating natural systems between reinstated mammals and trees, contrasting the order of magnitude in years between wolf and oak trees. Given that natural vegetation mapping, I used a map of the spatial distribution of areas of higher broad-leafed woodland cover in Britain to identify whether there were any large areas that function ecologically as woodland and, since we were in the Lake District, I pointed to a core area around Newby Bridge in the south of the National Park. To illustrate small scale wilding in the National Park (<75ha) I gave three examples of where fencing had been used to exclude sheep from areas of upland commons to achieve aims such as improving native diversity and hydrology, mitigating downstream erosion and flooding, protecting woodland, and turning back overgrazing. On a larger scale (600ha) the natural regeneration of oak and birch woodland, from a seed source of existing native trees, as the conifers are sequentially cleared at Hardknott Forest, a Forestry Commission plantation at the top end of the Duddon Valley, showed the eventual linkage of forest habitats from that fellside location through existing ancient woodland stretching down the valley all the way to the sea.

We speakers constituted a panel after the talks that took questions from what looked like a surprisingly diverse audience – students looking as though they had just come in from an outdoor practical conservation session (they had) walkers from an afternoon rambling group, and a bunch of academics and other office-clothed people. There were a number of wicked issues: the unlikelihood that reinstatement of wolf would be countenanced, but lynx was seen as less threatening; the difficulty of losing large areas to natural woodland; and the rising human population. The feedback that Ian got about the symposium from representatives present of the statutory and voluntary conservation organisations was that it had been stimulating and entertaining. I enjoyed the seminar, its good audience and good questions, but what I really enjoyed was that it wasn't adversarial, something I've said for a long time to my colleagues that we should do to give us some breathing space from the endless debasing and bashing of wilding. However, I accept that the plans that Ian has for a follow on with bigger ambitions and audience would be unlikely to get away without there being some contrary views. As Steve said, though, careful thought will need to be given so that wilding doesn’t get lost!

The axiom of withdrawal of farming pressure

Steve wondered after the symposium why I hadn’t used the upland tree planting along Rydal Beck, just up the road from the seminar venue in Ambleside, as an example of ecological restoration that would reduce water flow. He knew I wasn’t going to use Ennerdale as an example of wilding in the talk for the obvious reason that it is a cattle ranch in what was a Forestry Commission conifer plantation (20). The little I knew about Rydal was what Steve had gleaned from a meeting the year before. He thought it was a bit like Carrifran in that an upland valley had been planted with lots of trees in plastic tubes (21) but, unlike Carrifran, livestock had not been withdrawn, and it was still being grazed by cattle, with the hazard as well in some areas that sheep were getting in by crossing the fence or wall. Steve said that there was not much monitoring being done, other than some point photos and a few vegetation surveys. Perhaps some more assiduous monitoring is needed, because it’s a puzzle to me how these young trees are going to survive the attention of cattle – they don’t at Ennerdale and nor will they here, even with the tree guards, since they are of a size that will only be effective against rabbits (see the photo in (22)). I’ve since found that the trees have been planted in bracken beds, wet rush areas and along stream sides in this 400ha upland project, and there appears to be confirmation that is grazed by cattle, with the sop given that it “involves significant changes to grazing patterns whereby cattle are being grazed extensively in lieu of sheep which have been removed from a section of the fell” (22). Obviously not if sheep are getting in over the fence and walls and, while cattle are less agile than sheep, I don’t see that their access to chewing the growth above the tree guards will be limited by topography. The substitution of cattle for sheep is the arrant nonsense that is said in justification of Ennerdale, that the cattle grazing where there was no livestock before, is an encouragement to local farmers to switch from sheep to cattle (20).

I would of course not have used the example of Rydal anyway when it does not fit with the axiom of withdrawal of farming pressure, and seems pitched in the same nonsensical and unchallenging fantasy of the herbivorists. Apart from the ecological illiteracy of this herbivory, I have history on my side in the pragmatic reaction over 500 years ago to the fear of dwindling wood supply in England. I have been aware of measures in other countries of Europe to restrain forest use to maintain it as a resource, and for its protective function in areas of potential avalanche, when the forests acted to hold back snow from subsuming villages (23). However, I was surprised when checking Tudor statutes for vermin laws to come across an Act from 1482 that attempted to overcome shortages here of timber by allowing the enclosure for seven years of any private woods that lay within the bounds of a royal forest with “fufficient Hedges, able to keep out all Manner of Beafts and Cattle” (24). Its purpose was to protect the young growth of coppice stools and any natural regeneration of trees that “daily is deftroyed with Beafts and Cattle" after the area had been coppiced or felled.

Statute of Woods

Not being compulsory, that permissive law must not have had the desired effect because a more stringent law was passed in the mid-16th century for the preservation of woods. The seriousness of the situation is apparent in the opening paragraph of the Act from 1543, where it states that the king of England – Henry VIII – was aware of the “Decay of Timber and Woods” across his realm, such that "unlefs fpeedy Remedy in that Behalf be provided", there would be “great and manifeft Likelihood of Scarcity and Lack” of timber for making, repairing and maintaining houses and ships, and also for fuel and fire-wood (25). The Act thus required, on pain of financial penalty, that owners of coppice that was cut at 24-years growth and under had to leave 12 young oak trees for each acre as timber trees (standards). If 12 oak were not possible, then elm, ash, aspen or beech could make up the number. In addition, these timber trees could not be felled until every one of them had grown to a diameter of 10 inches measured at three feet above ground level. There were two reasons for these regulations aimed at maintaining timber trees: it was a reaction to the wasteful felling of trees when coppice wood (underwood) could have been used instead; and natural regeneration from trees old enough to seed themselves was relied on to replenish tree numbers, as planting trees propagated from collected seed had not then been devised.

The Act also sought to minimise the impact of livestock on regenerating coppice and trees, requiring again under pain of financial penalty that underwoods cut at 14 years growth and under “fhall be fuffciently enclofed, or the Springs thereof otherwife faved and preferved from Deftruction by any Manner of Cattle or Beafts” for a period of four years, that period extended to six years for underwoods cut between 14 and 24 years of growth. This protection from livestock was also extended to woods and coppice where the growth was above 24 years, and where there was considered to be “great Trees”. The requirement was that for each acre cut or felled, “twelve Trees of Oak of the fame fuch great Trees” were to be left, and the area enclosed against livestock for seven years. The Act also dealt with preservation of woods on commons and waste grounds in similar fashion of enclosure against livestock, and then set a hefty financial penalty for those who broke or destroyed the fencing or hedging in any of the settings in the Act that required enclosures. It is important to note that within a few years after this legislation, the Act had to be amended in 1570 for the “more Increafe in Woods” as the lengths of enclosure were not having the desired effect – “by Experience it is found, that the Space and Time of the said feveral Years of Inclofure or Prefervation is not fufficient” (26). Thus two years were added to each of the clauses based on the age of the woods felled, giving six, eight and nine years of enclosure against the destruction of livestock.

It is perhaps a measure of the importance of the Act for the preservation of woods that it was being called the Statute of Woods by the time of the amendment (26) but there were other measures over the second half of the 16th century for the avoidance of the “deftruction and wafting of timber” that were in addition to the protection from the effects of livestock. They are somewhat of a diversion from the point I wanted to make about the issue of grazing, but they are testament to the reaction to the continuing downward pressures on wood coverage that eventually left us with so little woodland in England coming into the 20th century (27,28). The first of these Acts, in 1554, sought to restrict the export by ship of wood from England, even up to Scotland, as a means to halt rising prices due to shortages - “unto a wonderful dearth and extreme prices”(29). The second, in 1558, was a measure to preserve ship timber within fourteen miles of the sea and of navigable watercourses by banning the use of timber trees of oak, ash or beech of greater than 12 inch diameter as fuel in the iron industry (30). A later Act, in 1581, noting the increasing scarcity and rising prices, banned the use of any manner of wood as firewood in the iron industry if it was grown within 22 miles of London, extended the existing ban of 14 miles to 22 miles from the River Thames, and banned the erection of any new iron works within 22 miles of London or 14 miles of the Thames (31). At the turn of the seventeenth century, an Act in 1601 sought to “avoid and prevent divers Mifdemeanors in lewd and idle Perfons” who were implicated in an increase in the spoiling of woods and underwoods (32). The act required recompense by the offender commensurate with the damage, and if this was not forthcoming then the offender could be punished by whipping.

The Statute of Woods did not apply to the “wields” of Surrey, Sussex and Kent, and subsequently there were laxer distance limits for the ban on the use of timber trees as firewood in the iron industry for any parts of those “wields” that were 18 miles and not 22 miles from London, and eight and not 14 miles from the Thames. However, even that dispensation was not to last in the face of continuing concern at the shortage of timber, such that an Act in 1585 banned the use of timber trees in iron smelting in those counties, as well as banning any new iron mills (33). I wonder now if this ban was a factor in why those counties have such high woodland cover today. I wrote about this high woodland cover a few years ago, as a result of speculating on the potential for lynx reinstatement based on the spatial distribution of areas of higher broad-leafed woodland cover in Britain (see above and (34). At the time, I had no easy answer as to why so much deciduous woodland cover is concentrated in the SE, but then, in a subsequent article, I set the argument of the historic value of the regions woodlands as providers of products, such as construction timber, to the people within the region and in neighbouring London against what I saw as the generally poor agricultural value of the land that could not sustain intensive use, but which could sustain woodland (28). Perhaps it was both, but the cessation of the profligate use of timber trees in iron smelting at least prevented what could have been a widespread deforestation.

Significant woodland planting schemes

Though woodland cover in England has rebounded from its low in the early 1900s to a level that existed prior to the need for the Tudor legislation (27) it has to be factored in that about one quarter of that woodland cover is now non-native conifer plantation (35) when there would have been no plantations back then and it is still pathetically low compared to the European average for woodland that is nearly four times greater (36). I posited some eight years ago that we are in need of a strategic direction for woodland creation and on a much larger scale (37). As I did then, I keep an eye out for some of the more significant woodland planting schemes, like the Woodland Trust’s The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood in the National Forest at Normanton Le Heath in Leicestershire, where 186ha has been planted with 275,000 native trees such as oak, birch and rowan, as well as shrubs, these distributed according to the variations in soil and drainage across the site (38,39). Another large scale scheme of 200ha has been planted up on the publicly owned land of the Defence Estates at Blindburn Farm at the head of the Coquet Valley north of Otterburn in Northumberland (40-42). The tenanted 1,758ha hill farm, which supports 2,000 sheep, is on the Army’s Otterburn Training Range, sitting within an area used for dry military training, which does not involve live firing. Newspaper reports focus on the creation of new habitats for wildlife, the Northumberland National Park having the distinction that less than 1% of its area is native woodland. However, it was the Ministry of Defence that identified a need to diversify the landscape cover and create a woodland environment for troops to train in, and which approached the tenant to discuss a proposal in which the farm could accommodate a scheme of this size and still remain viable. The Blindburn Farm project was eligible for all three elements of the English Woodland Creation Grant Scheme (Woodland Creation grant, Additional Contributions and Farm Woodland Payments) so that £900,000 over 30 years was pledged by the Forestry Commission, with 200,000 trees and shrubs planted over a year that began in the winter of 2011. As the farm is within the buffer zone of the Kidland Forest Red Squirrel Reserve, tree species planted were selected to produce small seeds, favouring red over grey squirrels, and these included downy birch, rowan, alder, willow, hawthorn and ash. It should be noted that nine kilometres of wooden fencing had to be installed to exclude grazing livestock and thus protect the newly planted trees.

As a contrast to that site in public ownership, the launch of the proposal last September to plant 600,000 trees on 354ha at Doddington North Moor near Wooler, Northumberland, will if approved create the largest private sector woodland in England for more than 20 years (43). The launch of the scheme at the Glendale Show, and then an open public meeting held last October in Wooler, was the start of the public consultation required by the Environmental Impact Assessment process for assessing whether an afforestation project can gain consent from the Forestry Commission (44). The aim of the Doddington North Afforestation Project is to "produce commercially viable quantities of timber and woodfuel utilising a wide range of tree species" as well as to create new habitats, especially for red squirrels, and provide a recreational resource (45). The quite complex plan of tree species to be planted shows Sitka Spruce as the main component by area (41%) but this will be planted through in appropriate areas with mixed conifers to increase forest resilience, such as Western Hemlock, Norway spruce, Noble Fir and Silver Fir (4%). There will be areas of mixed broadleaves of combinations of birch, aspen, alder and oak (13%) and broadleaves will be mixed up in combination with different conifers so that there will be areas of birch and aspen with Sitka Spruce or Scots pine or mixed conifer, as well as Scots pine with birch or Norway Spruce, and aspen with Norway spruce (24%)(45). All the trees are to be considered for exploitation - "Many of the broadleaved areas are to be viewed as having productive potential, with the capacity to deliver multiple benefits" such as promoting wildlife habitats and contributing to reducing future flood risks. It is likely however that because of the amount of non-native species in this proposal that it will receive resistance from the National Park Authority, which has been quite happy in the past to blight the future of Forestry Commission plantations so that they end up being sold and deforested to add yet more grouse moorland to the stupefying amounts already there (46).

On firmer ground is yet another woodland creation scheme in Northumberland, focussed on Scaup Burn, an area of open moorland between stands of non-native conifers in the Forestry Commission’s Kielder Forest. I’ve been sitting on an unpublished proposal for this Kielderhead Wildwood for some years, arising as it did from the interest that Adrian Manning, an academic in Australia, had in the possibility that the small population of Scots pine at Williams Cleugh in this location could be native remnants rather than planted (47). Adrian teamed up with Philip Ashmole from Carrifran Wildwood (see above) and Alex Lunn of Northumberland Wildlife Trust, all of whom were keen to protect and expand the potentially native pines - a pine trunk preserved in sediment close to one of the living pines has been carbon-dated to 6,962BP. The means would be to create Scots pine woodland (NVC W18 – see (48)) in a matrix of upland birch woodland and mires (49). The project became even more interesting when historical evidence of the presence of beaver was found. A specimen of wood with beaver gnaw marks was recovered from the bank of the Burn while Adrian and Philip were scoping the location for the wildwood proposal, and radio-carbon dated to between 1269 and 1396 (50). Philip told me he had got the sticks out of the riverbank after Adrian spotted them from a distance, eroding out of the bank. He then spent a whole day searching for more evidence along that burn.

As Adrian has bemoaned, the wildwood project has been “spade ready” for a number of years, but has lacked for want of funding - a trial planting was carried out in 2015 on two hectares, with encouraging results. However, the Northumberland Wildlife Trust set out in partnership with the Forestry Commission to seek that funding (51) and have now succeeded in securing money from the Heritage Lottery Fund to develop a full bid for £368,500 (52). The aim is to plant around 30,000 trees over five years on 94ha along a two-kilometre stretch of the Scaup Burn, the mix being Scots pine raised from seed from the Williams Cleugh pines, along with alder, birch, mountain ash, willow, rowan and juniper (53). Trees would be planted in clusters to make the most of better ground and more sheltered spots, and while there is no livestock grazing, the trees will have to be protected from feral goats and deer. An idea of what looks like a first phase planting plan (it covers a smaller area than shown for the wildwood in (51)) has been posted up by Heinz Traut, Red Squirrel and Woodland Officer for Northumberland Wildlife Trust, who is project co-ordinator for the wildwood (54).

The prospect of wild nature conserving itself

It should of course be noted that while there is no connection between the two projects, the Kielder Forest has been identified by the Lynx UK Trust as the preferred potential site for the trial release of lynx and, since August 2016, the Trust has been holding regular local community meetings all over the Kielder region, as well as knocking on doors and speaking to local businesses (55,56). In the short term, the Kielderhead Wildwood will have little significance for those lynx because it will be decades before the plantings will have some impact on the local ecology. However, the achievement of many of the aspirations of wilding will rely on more and much larger areas re-clothed in natural vegetation, but how do you get the land for this? The Woodland Trust’s The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood (see above) is on land owned by them, but the process of purchasing the site was complex, acquiring land off market from three different owners including a contribution of land from the National Forest Company, so that it is made up from arable fields, patches of ancient woodland, the largest area (42%) being a former open cast mine bought from UK Coal, and it had of course to raise the money for the purchases (57,58).

More generally, making the break from farming is going to be hard financially, as is shown above by the Doddington North Afforestation Project where what is presumably privately owned land is envisaged to still have the ecologically modifying burden of commercial exploitation, albeit from trees rather than livestock. The native woodland plantings at Blindburn Farm (see above) do show a break from farming, but what has made that possible is that the land is publicly owned, Defence Estates identifying their need for woodland in its military training area, and the tenant farmer is being compensated by grants over 30 years for the land taken out of production. The Kielderhead Wildwood will also be on publicly owned land, and because the woodland is to be created in the open spaces between blocks of conifer plantation, then the Forestry Commission won’t be losing any productivity. But we need to make more use of much larger areas in the public domain, like the 600ha of regenerating native woodland on the publicly owned Hardknott Forest of the Forestry Commission with its low cost approach of natural regeneration (see above) and, where this is approach is not possible, combined with a bit of public funding for the tree planting, as was the case at Blindburn Farm, because we can’t just rely on the voluntary sector and its chasing and competing for funding sources and voluntary goodwill. The prospect of wild nature conserving itself is more important than that.

Mark Fisher 7 February 2017

(1) Trophic occupancy and the rehabilitation of the meaning of rewilding, Self-willed land April 2016

http://www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/pandora.htm

(2) A clear view of the landscape, Self-willed land December 2016

www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/clear_view.htm

(3) Written evidence submitted by Dr Mark Fisher, BRX0049. The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum inquiry, Environmental Audit Committee

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/environmental-audit-committee/the-future-of-the-natural-environment-after-the-eu-referendum/written/37422.pdf

(4) The Future of the Natural Environment after the EU Referendum, House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, Sixth Report of Session 2016–17 14 December 2016

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmenvaud/599/599.pdf

(5) Soulé, M & Noss, R. (1998) Complementary Goals for Continental Conservation. Wild Earth 8(3): 1-11

http://academic.evergreen.edu/curricular/MES/rewilding.pdf

(6) Rewilding with large herbivores: challenges and opportunities for science and practice. Netherlands Institute of Ecology Symposium 26 August 2016

http://www.necov.org/symposia/poster_rewilding.pdf

(7) A challenge to Rewilding Britain, Self-willed land August 2015

www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/challenge_RB.htm

(8) Bison habitat preference becomes a pawn in the disputed natural vegetation cover of Europe, Self-willed land November 2015

www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/bison_habitat.htm

(9) One more step towards the trial release of lynx, Self-willed land June 2016

http://www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/germany_lynx.htm

(10) Patterns and disconnections in nature, Self-willed land August 2016

www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/disconnections.htm

(11) Fisher, M. & Parfitt, A. (2016) The challenge of wild nature conserving itself, ECOS 37(3/4): 27-34

http://www.wildlandresearch.org/media/uploads/The-challenge-of-wild-nature-conserving-itself.pdf

(12) Centre for National Parks and Protected Areas, Department of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies, University of Cumbria

https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/study/academic-departments/science-natural-resources-and-outdoor-studies/research/

(13) Convery, I. & Davis, P. eds., 2016. Changing Perceptions of Nature. Boydel Press ISBN: 9781783271054

https://boydellandbrewer.com/changing-perceptions-of-nature-hb.html

(14) Ian Convery, PhD, Professor of Environment & Society, Department of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies, University of Cumbria

https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/study/academic-staff/all-staff-members/ian-convery-phd.php

(15) Sir Martin Holdgate is new President of Friends of the Lake District, Maurice Chesworth, Cumbria 24 22 July 2014

http://www.cumbria24.com/news/2014/07/22/sir-martin-holdgate-new-president-friends-lake-district

(16) The Rewilding Foundation – for wilderness with carnivores

http://www.rewildingfoundation.org/

(17) Maanen, E. & Convery, I. (2016) Rewilding: the Realisation and Reality of a New Challenge for Nature in the Twenty-first Century. In: Convery, I. & Davis, P. eds., 2016. Changing Perceptions of Nature. Boydel Press

http://www.econatura.nl/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/129CPerceptionsCh29PP.pdf

(18) About Us, The Lynx UK Trust

http://www.lynxuk.org/about.html

(19) Carver, S. & Fisher, M (2017) The challenge of wild nature conserving itself. Changing Perceptions of Nature - a Wilder Future? University of Cumbria 18 January 2017

http://www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/challenge.pdf

(20) Unfinished business on rewilding - a comparison between Rewilding Britain and Rewilding Europe, Self-willed land May 2016

http://www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/europe_britain.htm

(21) Watching the naturalness return to the Carrifran Valley, Self-willed land April 2015

www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/carrifran_naturalness.htm

(22) Rydal. Water projects in the North West River Basin District, Woodland Trust

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/why-plant-trees/water-management/water-partnership-projects/england/north-west/

(23) Forests in Europe - learning the lessons for the UK, Self-willed land December 2011

www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/europe_forest.htm

(24) An Act for inclosing of Woods in the Forests, Chases and Purlieus CAP VII 1482. In: The Statutes at Large, of England and of Great-Britain: From Magna Carta to the Union of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol. 2 1377-1504. Pg. 683

https://archive.org/stream/statutesatlarge01raitgoog#page/n6/mode/2up

(25) An Act for the Preservation of Woods CAP XVII 1543. In: The Statutes at Large, of England and of Great-Britain: From Magna Carta to the Union of the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol 3 1509-1553. Pg. 445

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jNEPAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA445#v=onepage&q=445&f=false

(26) An Act for reviving and continuance of certain statutes CAP XXV 1570 In: The Statutes at Large, From the First Year of Q. Mary To The Thirty-fifth Year of Q. Elizabeth, inclusive. 1761 Vol VI. Pg. 289

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dvouAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

(27) Woodland area by Year, Forestry Statistics 2016 - Woodland Areas and Planting, Forestry Commission

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/forstats2016.nsf/LUContents/53FD38321794018D80257FE0004B2CD7

(28) The natural vegetation of England, Self-willed land August 2014

http://www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/natural_veg_england.htm

(29) An Act to restrain carrying of corn, victuals and wood over the seas CAP V 1554. In: The Statutes at Large, From the First Year of Q. Mary To The Thirty-fifth Year of Q. Elizabeth, inclusive. 1761 Vol VI. Pg. 29

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dvouAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

(30) An act that timber shall not be felled to make coals for burning of iron CAP XV 1558 In: The Statutes at Large, From the First Year of Q. Mary To The Thirty-fifth Year of Q. Elizabeth, inclusive. 1761 Vol VI. Pg. 144

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dvouAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

(31) An act touching iron-mills near unto the city of London and the river of Thames CAP V 1581. Pg. 341

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dvouAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

(32) An Act to avoid and prevent divers Misdemeanors in lewd and idle Perfons CAP VII 1601. In: The Statutes at Large: From the Magna Charta, to the End of the Eleventh Parliament of Great Britain, Anno 1761 Vol IV. Pg. 564

https://archive.org/stream/statutesatlarge02raitgoog#page/n8/mode/2up

(33) An Act for the preservation of timber in the wields of the counties of Sussex, Surrey and Kent, and for the amendment of highways decayed by carriages to and from Iron-mills there CAP XIX 1585 In: The Statutes at Large, From the First Year of Q. Mary To The Thirty-fifth Year of Q. Elizabeth, inclusive. 1761 Vol VI. Pg. 382

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dvouAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

(34) Lack of natural control mechanisms - the missing lynx, Self-willed land June 2014

http://www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/missing_lynx.htm

(35) Forest type and ownership, Forestry Statistics 2016 - Woodland Areas and Planting, Forestry Commission

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/forstats2016.nsf/LUContents/85FE582A00A2511080257FE0004B2C9A

(36) Supplementary Memorandum: EU Woodland, ‘Inquiry into the adaptation of agriculture and forestry to climate change: the EU policy response’. House of Lords European Union Committee Sub-Committee D (Environment and Agriculture) 2010

https://www.parliament.uk/documents/documents/upload/wtd10.pdf

(37) Woodland creation - in need of strategic direction and larger scale, Self-willed land November 2008

http://www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/woodland_wild.htm

(38) More about The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/wood-information/qedjw/

(39) Tilhill Forestry helps create one of largest public woodlands in England, Tilhill Forestry August 2013

http://www.tilhill.com/tilhill-forestry-news/news-article-883.php

(40) Change on its way to one of county’s most remote farms, Tony Henderson, The Journal 23 July 2011

http://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/change-way-one-countys-most-4428251

(41) Local wildlife set to benefit as farm decides to go native, Ruth Lognonne, Hexham Courant 8 August 2011

http://www.hexham-courant.co.uk/news/Local-wildlife-set-to-benefit-as-farm-decides-to-go-native-7f49c921-5a48-4e26-a1e6-d6ba3284b094-ds

(42) Creating a new nature woodland, Forestry Commission England Corporate Plan 2013-14. Pg 20

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/PDF/FCE_corp_plan_2013-14.pdf/$FILE/FCE_corp_plan_2013-14.pdf

(43) Plans for huge new forest in Northumberland are revealed, Ian Smith, Northumberland Gazette 20 September 2016

http://www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk/news/plans-for-huge-new-forest-in-northumberland-are-revealed-1-8135698

(44) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), Forestry Commission

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/infd-6dfkbc

(45) Doddington North Afforestation Project

http://www.doddingtonnorthforest.com/

(46) Threestoneburn Forest - a lost opportunity for a new wildwood, Self-willed land December 2008

www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/thriston_burn.htm

(47) Manning, A. D., Kesteven, J., Stein, J., Lunn, A., Xu, T., & Rayner, B. (2010). Could native Scots pines (Pinus sylvestris) still persist in northern England and southern Scotland?. Plant Ecology & Diversity, 3(2), 187-201

https://tinyurl.com/zzecq5q

(48) National Vegetation Classification field guide to woodland, Joint Nature Conservation Committee 2004

http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/PDF/fieldguidetowoodland.pdf

(49) Manning AD, Lunn AG and Ashmole P (2011) Kielderhead Wildwood: A Proposed Wildwood Restoration Project within the Scaup Burn Catchment in Kielder Forest, on the Scotland- England. Unpublished

(50) Manning, A. D., Coles, B. J., Lunn, A. G., Halley, D. J., Ashmole, P., & Fallon, S. J. (2014). New evidence of late survival of beaver in Britain. The Holocene, 24(12), 1849-1855

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0959683614551220

(51) Wildwood, Northumberland Wildlife Trust

http://www.nwt.org.uk/wildwood

(52) New Year, new ‘Wildwood’ project for Kielder, Northumberland Wildlife Trust 12th January 2017

http://www.nwt.org.uk/news/2017/01/12/new-year-new-‘wildwood’-project-kielder?platform=hootsuite

(53) New forest could take root in Northumberland as 30,000 trees set to be planted, Tony Henderson Chronicle Live 14 January 2017

http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/new-forest-could-take-root-12451443

(54) Kielderhead Planting Plan 2015

http://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=01cb06e629174ec69b8bc7223fe08032

(55) Latest News, Lynx UK Trust

http://www.lynxuk.org/index.html

(56) National and Local Stakeholder Consultation on Trial UK Lynx Reintroduction, Lynx UK Trust

http://www.lynxuk.org/consultation/

(57) Flagship Wood for The Queen's Jubilee to be in The National Forest, The National Forest News 14 September 2011

http://www.nationalforest.org/newsroom/index.php?fuseaction=news.read&id=225

(58) Diamond Jubilee Wood gets go ahead, Fisher German News Article March 2012

http://www.fishergerman.co.uk/rural-consultancy/news/diamond-jubilee-wood-gets-go-ahead

url:www.self-willed-land.org.uk/articles/science_based.htm

www.self-willed-land.org.uk  mark.fisher@self-willed-land.org.uk

-top