“Traditional conservation practices on their own are not enough to achieve significant wildlife recovery in Britain.”

Director of Rewilding Britain, Professor Alastair Driver, stopped by First Mile HQ to share the fantastic work they’re doing to improve biodiversity through the large-scale restoration of ecosystems across the UK.

He explained that, throughout the centuries, every square metre in the UK has been managed by humans one way or another, turning the nation into a giant garden. Now even locations that appear ‘natural and wild’ are far from what they once were. And while these landscapes might look clean, tidy and even beautiful, they are not necessarily rich in biodiversity and benefitting both nature and communities alike.

“Multi-coloured and multi-textured: that’s how wild should look like.”

Once the ecosystem has been disrupted, wildlife such as birds, insects and plant species diminish. All too often, the result is a barren, monocoloured grassland devoid of trees, shrubs, native animals and any kind of texture.

Carrifran Valley in the Scottish Borders, part of the Borders Forest Trust Rewilding initiative. These images show how bare hills can transform into flourishing woodland of colour and rich bird song when rewilding is facilitated. Photos by John Savory/Borders Forest Trust