What a contrast

What a contrast between this image from the Peak District NP in Bob Berzins’s latest blog;

…and this image of a potential future for Exmoor NP from Lee Schofield’s guest blog of yesterday;

…and what a shame that the Glover report failed at all adequately to address the choice facing our National Parks and AONBs.

Rewild or not?

What do you think? How big a role should UK National Parks play as centres for testing, showcasing and implementing rewilding?

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10 Replies to “What a contrast”

  1. For a start I'd urge a bit of caution about language. Rewilding has become a very divisive term, and to many farmers means "get rid of us and introduce wolves instead". Its about more working with nature, not a new wave of clearances.

    Any conversation about land use has to start with a bit of respect for people who have lived and worked in these areas for generations. So seeking a more sustainable future, with much more natural and nature-rich landscapes, has to bring these communities along with it. Not every single person within them, because not all people are reasonable any more than all conservationists are reasonable, and no-one has a veto, but certainly in my area quite a few farmers know the world is changing. I was at a meeting about beavers this time last year and no-one in the room had any problem with the proposal. That wouldn't have happened even 5 years ago. Look for friends and you'll find them.

    Different places have different cultures, and knowing who "sets the tone" is very helpful. Where they are on side you can make progress, if they are dead set against there may be more productive places to spend your effort. Some broad measure of consent from the local community is probably more important than whether an area is inside or outside a line on the map in my view. That said, NPs and AONBs have the staff - well some staff at least - which makes them as good a place to start as any.

    Just so long as its working with, not doing to. Not just because we should, but because even though it can be slow and frustrating it is still the best and fastest route to success.

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  2. Agreed.
    I have just watched one of those Webinar things, from the very forward thinking Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Good presentation, with questions raised and answered quite well.
    (Re) wilding is happening, to what extent depends on talking to, not at, people on the ground.
    As well as giving them money.

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  3. Contrasting a bad image from the Peak with what is hoped for on Exmoor is complete farce.
    There are lots and lots of brilliant images of the Peak District. Sorry Mark making this comparison on this blog is seriously bad for someone of your quality.

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    1. Dennis - I have so much to learn from your razor-sharp analysis Dennis. Thank you.

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  4. Don’t be idiotic, you can’t compare an artists’ impression to the reality of the natural landscape.

    For all my sins I was the designer for a number of prestigious developments in the rural south. In those days you had to battle planning permission, not like today. You would produce a marketing presentation, comprising of an artist’s impression(s) of what the development could look like, with an in-depth report of the prospects, which did include wildlife, as it was a selling point.

    My concept illustrations were usually based a nice house, and would include a 2.2 family unit, with the brats pointing at a fly-over hobby chasing a emperor dragonfly, a badger would be poking itself through the grass, with peacock and red admiral on buddleia, and maybe a blackbird with worms in its bill, a flock of goldfinches on teasel.

    In a recent Nature’s home, the RSPB produced an article and illustration on rewilding, I had a good look at that illustration, like mine if I remember righly, it showed a 2.2 family, walking on what looked to me like a version of the Serengeti, but I take it was Scotland.

    Both concepts the RSPB’s and mine are an artist impression, not based on the actual reality and bear no veracity in what ultimately will happen. Both illustration are absolute bollocks, but a great PR tool to make people part with money.

    What mine should have shown, is 2.2 family pointing at a nice house, but with a BMW on the drive, a new white PVC conservatory, with artificial turf all around, any hint of wildlife would of course be absent.

    The RSPB’s well that’s easy a wad of £50 notes burning, that's rewilding.

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    1. Thomas - you forgot, again, to tellus all where you are getting all this experience of rewilding.

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  5. https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=views+of+peak+district&qpvt=views+of+prak+district&FORM=IGRE
    Really just for Bob and Mark.
    Think these even better than the proposed Exmoor one.
    Hope this works for you. It is rather a razor sharp images if it works I had a serious job of which ones of thousands to choose.Love
    If it doesn't just cuss my poor tablet skills.
    All the best Dennis
    OH spent first twenty years in locality of Lathkill Dale, even better images than these.

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  6. When that image appeared at the Telegraph last week I thought it looked a bit like Bossington Hill and Porlock Bay. And so it was. A bit fanciful, especially the hillfort - it would make a good tea-towel.

    What gets forgotten in these debates are the people who are expected to do the work to make things happen. Look at the dozens of participant names in the Exmoor Partnership Group Membership talking-shop lists and you may find one farmer. It's a mystery then that people are perplexed by farmers resistant to having their businesses restructured every few years by people who have only just discovered retrospectively that the policies they have foisted on farming since WWII haven't necessarily resulted in a landscape that they like - so they prefer to follow a neo-colonialist path and export our food production and pollution to other countries.

    Perhaps it's those who do the foisting that need reform. Or, in Newspeak - "educating".

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