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Self-Willed Land

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Wildland Reports and Presentations, Work reports & Designs

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Wildland Books

Wildland Filmography

Wildland Information

What is Wildland?

Ancient Woodland

ssenredliW - what does it mean?

Conservation Speak

Heathland Madness

Treeless Forests

Heroes and Villains

Wildland Network News


Learn about Permaculture



Last updated 15 April 2024


Governance in species restoration, 15 April 2024

Unfettered Evolution: A Cornerstone of Wildness, June 2023

Providing opportunities for formerly native species reintroductions, Mar 2023

Deciding not to destroy the world, Feb 2023

Downgrading the protection of wolves in Europe, 12 December 2022

A wolf-shaped hole in Britain, Sept 2022

Requiem redux – it’s the ecology, stupid, May 2022

Requiem for rewilding, Jul 2021 

What nature wants, Feb 2021 

Commodification of nature, January 2021

An axis of naturalness for treescapes, Nov 2020

What is a Treescape? Sept 2020

Where have all the woodland flowers gone? Aug 2020

Ecological flow, nature protection, and the wolf, July 2020

Faking the wild – safari park rewilding, May 2020

The middle landscape and movement ecology – black bears in Vermont, Apr 2020

The separation between wolves and humans in modified landscapes, Mar 2020

How much does wild nature mean to you? Jan 2020

Wild Nature has lost another good friend, Dec 2019

UK Restoration and Rewilding Plan - a positive action-oriented narrative, Nov 2019

Rewilding Britain backs out of Summit to Sea – a symptom of a wider failure to achieve, Oct 2019

Movement ecology and rewilding, Sept 2019

What future Wildcat in Britain? Aug 2019

The most important component to preserve is predation itself, Jul 2019

A contest between trees and animals - the grazing mosaic tendency, Jun 2019 

Leaky dams - preciousness, vanity and tree persecution, Apr 2019

An ecological landscape – connectivity, cores and coexistence, Mar 2019

All human life is there and probably even some wildlife, Feb 2019

A false start for lynx reinstatement, Dec 2018 

Indigenous people and the experiential values of wilderness, Nov 2018 

Intolerance and the reinstatement of former native species, Oct 2018 

Hope is natural, hope is wild, Sept 2018

The natural sounds of wild nature, Sept 2018 

The most ambitious proposal for land management, Jul 2018 

Using functional traits - walking rewilding and wolves straight into the criticism of Goldilocks Standards, Jun 2018

The loss of a great activist against dewilding, May 2018

Conservation biology and the repair of our damaged and degraded ecosystems, Apr 2018  

More zombie ideas in ecology, Mar 2018

The continuing destruction of our native trophic pyramid, Feb 2018

Rewiring an emptied food web, Jan 2018

Civilisation, artifice, domination, autonomy – divining a moral ethic for wild nature, Dec 2017

The greatest challenge for living with wolves rests within the human mind, Nov 2017

Species distribution mapping and its insights on the self-assembly of wild nature, Oct 2017

Moving past process to outcome – the manifestation of wild land, Sept 2017

Discriminating between the wild and not wild, Aug 2017

Addressing ecological and legislative issues, July 2017

Rumination, mindfulness and Awe Walks, Jun 2017

Reclaiming our wild heritage, May 2017 

Animales de uńas - animals with claws, Apr 2017 

A positive outlook on large carnivores in Europe, Mar 2017

A science-based movement for wilding, Feb 2017

Giving natural justice to wild nature, Jan 2017

A clear view of the landscape, Dec 2016

Wilderness uncovered – the past and future of drowned lands, Nov 2016

Breaking the pattern, Oct 2016

Patterns and disconnections in nature, Aug 2016

Implications for wild land on leaving the European Union, July 2016 

One more step towards the trial release of lynx, Jun 2016

Unfinished business on rewilding - a comparison between Rewilding Britain and Rewilding Europe, May 2016 

Trophic occupancy and the rehabilitation of the meaning of rewilding, Apr 2016

Coastal cliff system instability – a natural disturbance or manmade? Mar 2016

Unselfing – a selfless approach to the beauty of wild nature, Feb 2016

The free for all of trophic rewilding, Jan 2016

Big areas for ecological restoration, Dec 2015

Bison habitat preference becomes a pawn in the disputed natural vegetation cover of Europe, Nov 2015

The malady of conservation reliance, Oct 2015 

Can the ecological functions of wolves be substituted? Sept 2015

A challenge to Rewilding Britain, Aug 2015

When nature dies - the impact of the human species, July 2015 

Coastal temperate rainforest - in Britain?!, Jun 2015

Lynx UK Trust lets the cat out of the bag, April 2005

Watching the naturalness return to the Carrifran Valley, April 2015 

Wild boar, beaver, and the Infrastructure Act 2015, March 2015

Cry wolf - the return of Britain's top predator, Feb 2015

Habitat fragmentation and the ecology of artefacts, Jan 2015

The third dimension is the last refuge of the wild, Dec 2014  

Large carnivores as focal species for reinstatement of natural processes in Britain, Nov 2104 

The challenge of Lost Island - making ourselves wilder, Sept 2014

The natural vegetation of England, Aug 2014

Misperceptions of the Infrastructure Bill - willful ignorance of the conservation industry?, Aug 2014

Ecological consequence of predator removal, July 2014

Lack of natural control mechanisms - the missing lynx, June 2014

Woodland memories from childhood, May 2014

Looking at the landscape view, Apr 2014

Untamed nature, Mar 2014

Flooding and cherry picking, Feb 2014

Reflections on Feral, Jan 2014

Wild Park, Brighton - not so wild now, Dec 2013

What is rewilding? Sept 2013 

The moral corruptness of Higher Level Stewardship, Aug 2013

Ecological restoration in modified landscapes, June 2013 

Wild trees and natural woods, April 2012

The neoliberalisation of nature conservation, Feb 2013

Protected areas in Europe – Natura 2000 versus national protected areas, Jan 2013

Saying goodbye to ash, Dec 2012 

The natural aspect - Epping Forest and Rock Creek Park, Nov 2012 

The New Enclosures, Sept 2012

Wild Nephin – future natural wilderness in Ireland, Aug 2012

Tay beavers to stay free and living wild, May 2012 

The revisionism of the conservation industry – expanding the noosphere in Britain, March 2012 

Contemplation of natural scenes, Jan 2012

Forests in Europe - learning the lessons for the UK, Dec 2011 

Forests, Rocks, Torrents, Oct 2011 

Threats to wild land in Šumava National Park, Aug 2011

Nature improvement and restoration areas - are they a step towards rewilding? June 2011 

Rare and precious – words devalued by the conservation industry, May 2011

Wild Pear Beach - how wild is it?, Apr 2011

England's Public Forest Estate - public ownership now and for future generations, Feb 2011

The Tayside beavers - living wild and free in Scotland, Jan 2011

Barn owls confound the conservation industry, Dec 2010

Walking the wild places, Sept 2010

The most unnatural conservation policy possible, Jul 2010

Searching out the wildness, May 2010

The grazing war comes to Kingwood Common, Apr 2010

Heathland and the perception and preference for landscape, Mar 2010

The defence of woodland – Forest Neighbours and Gib Torr, Jan 2010

The most natural succession of woodland, Nov 2009

Losing wild nature to the decision of one person, Sept 2009

Challenging the bias: a Wildland Research Institute for Britain, Jul 2009

Open or closed – what is the natural landscape matrix of a wild Britain?, Jun 2009

The craze for conservation grazing, May 2009

Cutting down trees to restore open habitats – only now a policy emerges, Mar 09

>Consultation response to Restoring and expanding open habitats from woods and forests in England, May 09

Reintroducing lynx – sensing an atmosphere of wildness, Feb 2009

Threestoneburn Forest – a lost opportunity for a new wildwood, Dec 08

Woodland creation - in need of strategic direction and larger scale, Nov 08

Wild foraging - reconnecting to our ethnobotanical heritage, Oct 08

Wilderness experience and the spirit of wildland, Sept 2008

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem - the island of hope, Aug 2008

When we talk to trees, do they listen? Jun 08

Rewilding - the moral obligation for ecological restoration, May 2008

Along the coast and under the sea - the outlook for marine protection, Apr 2008

>Consultation response to the Draft Marine Bill, June 2008

High price for heath - Loxley and Wadsley Commons, Mar 2008

Swineholes Wood - 'Too many trees being cut down', Feb 2008

Take three woodland wildflowers, Feb 2008

Are humans a natural disturbance? Dec 2007

Harting Down - obsession with conserving man-made landscapes, Nov 2007

Wild Law - giving justice to the earth, Oct 2007

Nature as a product, Aug 2007

Wildness in the literary landscape, Jul 2007

Doorstep wildness - our nearness to the natural world, Jun 2007

A Sea of Change - a response to the Marine Bill White Paper, Jun 2007

Nature grooming - the killing of wildness in nature, April 2007

Four strands of barbed wire - a Blacka Moor update, Mar 2007

Duddon Valley - woodland now and into the future, Feb 2007

They shoot foxes, don't they? Jan 2007

The getting of ecoliteracy, Dec 2006

What do we know about woodland in Britain?, Nov 2006

No Take Zones - a maritime rewilding, Oct 2006

Shooting grey seals out of season, Sept 2006

Gardening for nature - management of our national nature reserves, Aug 2006

Landscape protection - too many layers, too confusing, no overall plan, July 2006

Giving the Bird to Farmification, June 2006

Wetland Restoration - the return of wild nature, Apr 2006

Looking for Wildland - developing a value system for wild nature, Apr 2006

Mountain Lions and Eagles - the place of humans in nature, Feb 2006

Ecology, Buildings and Landscapes: restoring ecological processes, Jan 2006

Blacka Moor in Peril from the Conservation Professionals, Dec 2005

Natural Environment: a response to a draft vision, Nov 2005

White Mountain National Forest - lessons in landscape, October 2005

Beavers and boars: a Wild Animal Update, Sept 2005

Why We Need Wild Land, July 2005

The Rocky Road to Wild Land, April 2005

Woodland Nature Notes - from Lilliput to Large Alders, March 2005

Wildernesses of the Mind, January 2005

An Imagined Landscape, September 2004

A Season of Orchids, August 2004

A Walk in the Forest of Forgetting, April 2004

The Dignity of Wild Animals, February 2004

Rural Planning Policy - a consultation response, Dec 2003

Self-willed land - the rewilding of open spaces in the UK, Sept 2003

Design, Ethics and Wilderness, Aug 2003

Wilderness Walks in the Colorado Front Range, July 2003

Holding Back Succession - Can Nature Ever Be Free From Being Managed, Conserved or Reserved?, Aug 2002

Do We Need to Re-embrace Wilderness?, Aug 2002

Leaping the Fence, May 2002

Food, Digestion and the Primeval Landscape, Oct 2001

Farm Subsidy Into Land Purchase, Mar 2001

A Land That All Can Enjoy, Mar 2001

The Robin Hood Syndrone, Dec 1999

The Other Side of Crofting, Feb 2005

What does the Mid-Term Review Mean for us?, April 2003

Down on the Farm - Modulation, Decoupling and Degression, April 2003

The Whole is Not the Sum of its Parts, Jan 2003

Rural Aspirations of a Semi-Upland District, Jun 2002

Todays Dogmas are Just Another Form of McDonaldisation or MacDonalds du nos jours!, Feb 2002

The Received Wisdom of the Moment, Apr 2002

Doing the Sums - Does Organic Farming Stack Up?, Jan 2002

All the News That's Fit to Print, Jan 2002

Policy Commission on the Future of Food and Farming - A Consultation Response, Oct 2001

The Hoe and the Plough, Feb 2001

Global Ecosystems and the Effects of Farming, Feb 2001

Nature as the Inventive Chemist, Oct 2000

Legends and Myths in Science, Jul 2000

Food Chain and Crops for Industry, Jun 2000

Food, Land and Money - Making the Case for Urban Food Production, Aug 1999

What did you do in the Great Genetic Engineering War?, Apr 1999

Natural, Healthy Food for All?, Jan 1999

Organic Junk Food - Organic Panic?, Oct 1998

Are humans a natural disturbance? Dec 2007

White Mountain National Forest - lessons in landscape, October 2005

Trees in the landscape, June 2005

The Permacultural approach to woodland, December 2004

A Permaculture parish, June 2004

Progress and the Public Realm - what progress are we looking for?, March 2004

Our Costliest Expenditure is Time, Jan 2004

Land care and Permaculture, Aug 2003

Rites of Passage, Apr 2003

Natural Gardening - The Many Perspectives, Oct 2002

Plant Communities and Natural Pest Control, Jun 2002

Stealing the Clothes Off Our Backs, Jun 2002

Reconstituting rurality, May 2002

Not Seeing the Woods from the Trees, Jan 2002

Approaches to Problem Solving, Jan 2002

Permaculture and Land Use In The English Countryside, May 2001

Wolves in sheeps clothing, July 2000

Using Plants with a Purpose, April 1998

Your favourite articles (no longer updated)


Wildland Reports and Presentations

WILDERNESS AND NATURA 2000, March 2013 (PDF 1.2Mb)



SPIRIT OF WILD LAND - a timeline in words and pictures, January 2012 (PDF 700kb)


DOES IT HAVE (FOUR) LEGS? - The Dutch Experience of Nature Development, March 2011 (PDF 2.6Mb)




ZONES AND CONNECTIVITY – lessons from wild area networks from around the world, November 2006 (PPT 2.4Mb)

Self-Willed Land - an expression of a future-natural state for British landscapes, February 2006 (PPT 1400kb)

Wildland Gazetteer, October 2005 (PPT 700kb)

Work Reports

Rural Visions - A View of Bradford District's Rural Landscape and its Public Goods and Services, October 2004 (PPT 950kb)

Rural Proofing Bradford Vision, July 2004 (PDF 48kb)

Regional Support Program for Farmers’ Markets in Yorkshire and the Humber, August 2003 (PDF 328kb)

Rural Aspirations: Some Impressions and Observations from Bradford District’s Rural Land Use Community, Mar 2002 (PDF 916kb)

Springfield Community Garden - A Technical Description and Maintenance Schedule, and Future Uses of Land, August 2001 (PDF 1032kb)

Training in Food Growing, May 2000 (PDF 48kb)

Low Impact Development and Peri-Urban Productivity in SE Bradford, Jan 2000 (PDF 680kb)


Co-housing in the Colne Valley, February 2007 (PDF 1,258kb)

Designs for the Landscape around The Ecology Building Society Headquarters, November 2004 (WORD 1,487kb)

Concept Designs for the Ecology Building Society HQ, October 2004 (PPT 1070kb)

Design Development Plans for Open House Plus, May 2001 (WORD 798kb)

Designs for a Community Market Garden, December 2000 (WORD 3159kb)

Concept Designs for Sandall Grove Paddock, August 2000 (PPT 174kb)

The Motte and Bailey Garden, May 1995 (PDF 297kb)

The Ornamental Kitchen Garden, Winter 1993 (PDF 58kb)

The Natural Garden, 1989 to Today (PDF 140kb)


Wild Europe Initiative

EU Resolution on Wilderness in Europe

Responses to the resolution from Scotland and Wales

Conference on Wilderness and Large Natural Habitat Areas

Summary of the Conference on Wilderness and Large Natural Habitat Areas, Prague, Czech Republic, 27-28 May 2009

EC Presidency Conference on Restoration of Large Wild Areas, Brussels 16, 17 November 2010

Guidelines for the management of wilderness and wild areas in Natura 2000
A Working Definition of European Wilderness and Wild Areas
Protected areas in Europe - an overview, October 2012

Wildland Books

What is Wildland?

Ancient Woodland

>A response to the consultation on England's Forestry Strategy

>Strategy for England Trees, Woods and Forests - a commentary

ssenredliW - what does it mean?


"His comments have raised concerns among UK farmers"

Bringing back the lynx will create havoc for UK sheep farmers, Philip Bowern, The Herald 14 April 2016  NEW


“little potential to improve it for nature”

RSPB ignores widow's wishes and looks to sell land for housing, Nicola Harley, Daily Telegraph 5 Jun 2015


"maximising the impact of the ponies and the benefits for nature"   

Can wild konik ponies munch a meadow back to life? BBC News Science and Environment 12 October 2014

"pristine heathland" 

Hairy pigs introduced to restore heath land and attract wildlife, BBC News 3 October 2014


"Of course we need to cull them. Get a grip"

We must kill Bambi: why culling deer is a no-brainer, Sara Maitland Guardian 10 March 2013


"peatlands are more important than tropical rainforest"

Natural England drops peatland bog-burning inquiry, Christine Ottery, Guardian 14 March 2012


“The Grasslands Trust has been able to secure Government funding to ensure ten years of wildlife management at Arcot”

Northumberland wildlife site rescued from decline: Largest area of lowland species-rich unimproved grassland in the North East, Wildlife Extra June 2011

"in an unfavourable condition and requires management to improve its status"

Wildlife is threatened by experts, Wigan Today 19 January 2011 


We are proud to have a sustainable conservation system up and running to safeguard the future of this unsurpassed southern wilderness and its wildlife”

'Extinct' roaming red deer protect Pirbright heathland, BBC News Surrey 24 November 2010


“the danger of re-wilding ideas, though, is that they are often based on rampant political naivety”
Lynx and beaver to ‘rewild’ English countryside, Chris Gourlay and Jonathan Leake, The Sunday Times 27 September, 2009 

"the land would become covered in scrub and gorse, and if left alone would become inaccessible to visitors"
Healthy eating 'alters landscape', BBC News online 20 May 2009

"a membership-collecting factory"
Feathers fly at osprey site split - A disagreement about the running of an osprey nesting site in Gwynedd has resulted in volunteers flying the nest, BBC News online 3 April 2009

"the hard work of the upland gamekeepers controlling crows and foxes to protect the grouse"

Green plovers' eggs are off the menu
Wild Notebook: lapwings are a part of history but they are not often seen now, Simon Barnes, Times 28 February 2009

"Ministers are reneging on promises to safeguard vital wildlife areas around Britain's coasts"

Save our seas: Ministers go back on promise to protect UK waters, Geoffrey Lean, Independent on Sunday 8 February 2009

"there are claims that reinstallation of these raptors has ignored the needs of farmers, whose complaints should no longer be ignored"

After beavers and wolves, why not bring back the black rat? - Those who argue for the reintroduction of lost species must understand it will devastate a landscape we love, Catherine Bennett, Observer 4 January 2009


"very exciting project for the National Trust"

Lisa Hawthornthwaite, the only cowgirl in Britain, rides out for the National Trust, Simon de Bruxelles, Times 30 October 2008

"Legal control of crows, foxes and stoats"

New study links loss of waders and hen harriers to loss of gamekeepers and grouse, Game & Wildlife Conservancy Trust News 27 October 2008

"a superb management strategy"

Bold move to save mire, Forestry Commission News Release No: 11035, 20 October 2008

"foxes often chew transmitters"

Massive radio-tracking study links predators to bird declines, Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust Press Release 18 September 2008

"These animals disappeared for a reason, because they were competing with our own needs"

Beavers to be reintroduced to Scotland - Conservationists believe the mammals will help create a healthier and more varied habitat, but the proposals are likely to be opposed by local farmers, Guardian, 18 August 2008

"learning the lessons of successful moorland management from its neighbours and concentrating on habitat management and predator control"
RSPB accused over birds on flagship reserve, Charles Clover, Daily Telegraph 23 April 2008

"The lack of woodland management has led to rapid declines in specialist woodland wildlife, like the rare and beautiful Pearl-bordered Fritillary"
Help save vanishing creatures, Salisbury Journal, 20 March 2008

"Grey wolves in the northern Rocky mountains are thriving and no longer need protection"
Howls of protest as America declares open season on grey wolves, Robin McKie, The Observer, 24 February 2008

"The RSPB does not have any axe to grind against any sport unless it affects the conservation issues and then we would be very much against it"
RSPB criticised over shooting on reserve, Paul Eccleston, Daily Telegraph 11 January 2008


"There's a deep cultural resistance to the idea of land no longer being farmed"
Wilder parks can tame climate change threat, Ed Douglas, The Observer, 23 December 2007

"grazing animals manage the land, keeping it cropped and tidy and attractive to visitors"
Walk in the enchanted forest, Anna Shepard, travel, The Times 17 November 2007

"Shoot a moose and you have saved the equivalent of two long-haul flights"
Moose with wind are ‘worse than gas guzzlers’, Roger Boyes, The Times 23 August 2007

"Woodlands are managed in such a way now that they are the shadiest they have been for thousands of years
Bringing sunshine into the woods should stop decline of butterflies, Valerie Elliot, Times 21 July 2007

"We must increase our efforts to restore and manage lowland heathland
Woodlark population takes off, thanks to set-aside land, Lewis Smith, Times 16 July 2007

"Detested the barren hills of Scotland
Three million trees planted in largest native woodland plan, David Ross, The Herald 3 July 2007

"Re-wilding, creating woodlands and heathlands
The middle class have hijacked the English countryside for themselves, Madeleine Bunting, The Grauniad 23 April 2007

"Naurally maintain one of Britain's most sensitive eco-systems
Ethical Living, Lucy Siegle, The Observer Magazine, 4 March 2007

"Now we should fear for the wild"
We used to fear the wild. Now we should fear for the wild......, Simon Barnes, Wild Notebook, The Times, 3 February 2007

"A true British wilderness"
Britain's forgotten wilderness - less than an hour from Norwich, John Vidal, The Grauniad, 8 January 2007


"This doesn't imply fencing humans out and allowing vast tracts of countryside to revert to wilderness"
The bigger picture, Martin Hodgson, The Grauniad 29 November 2006

"Dyfi Valley, Uluru and Yellowstone"
Stunning valley's membership of an exclusive eco club hangs in balance, Western mail 18th October 2006

"Born to be wild"
Trust’s edict leads to howls of protest, this is Hampshire 28 September 2006

"Do away with farming and the countryside will be nothing - back to wilderness in no time at all"
Archbishop fears for future of countryside, Yorkshire Post Today 13 July 2006

"The anthem of summer - more Romanticism"
Gordon Brown, death by droning, Times 12 June 2006 & Raise a glass (and sound the flute) to the creators of our pastoral dream, Times 19 January 2006 - both Rachel Campbell-Johnston

"The modern version of the pre-Romantic wilderness"
Return of the native - Indigenous trees rekindle the spirit of our pre-industrial land, and are a big brother to birds, bulbs and bugs, Monty Don, Observer, 5th February 2006

"Managed grazing prevents most sites reverting to wild forest"
Return of the native - Green groups are increasingly buying farmland to return it to vanished wilderness, Owen Bowcott, Guardian, 30th December 2005


"But we cant call it wilderness in Scotland"
Scotland 'to lead the way in attracting wilderness tourists', Fordyce Maxwell, The Scotsman, 4th November 2005

"Forgetting how people once felt about bears and packs of wolves"
Now in its 11th consecutive year! - Catherine Bennet, Grauniad (Guardian) 13th October 2005

"Without cattle the countryside becomes an empty wilderness"
Vaccinated steak and chips, please - Magnus Linklater, The Times, 5th October 2005

Conservation Speak

Heathland Madness - the juggernaut of nature conservation

Treeless Forests

Heroes and Villains 



>Wild land or rewilding?

>How wild should Wales be?

LEARN about Permaculture

PERMACULTURE DESIGN - a short introduction

The Permaculture View: sustainability through achieving a balance in life

Ground rules for using resources

The Principles of Permaculture Design

>Permaculture design principles - grouped by design challenge

Yields and interventions

Succession to a climax ecology - annuals to trees and soil formation

Plant guilds - plant communities with a purpose

The Permaculture Design process

Participatory planning processes

Design Sequences - BREDIM and SADI

Permaculture design methods and tools

Sectors and aspect - orientation, elevation and slope

Zonal analysis - placement and relative location

Zonal analysis of information and people

Involving people - meaningful routes to participation

Urban design and Permaculture

Accelerating succession and evolution

Forest Garden

The four capitals: the economist's model for sustainability

Building social capital

Mind or thinking tools

Health and socio-economic equalities

Good health - mind and body awareness

Urban ecology

Futures - searches, visions, scenarios and foresight

>Enspirited visioning, future searches and guided visualisation

Community organisation and accountability

Social and community enterprise

A travelogue - ten weeks in North America

SELF-WILLED LAND - The Manifesto