Re-wilding Scotland

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Landslide
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Re-wilding Scotland

Post by Landslide » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:27 pm

Story here:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... -highlands

It's occurred to me when riding in Scotland that what I initially perceive as "wilderness" is generally a massive farm, geared towards raising livestock. I wonder how this might turn out... I'm sure it's not as simple as "shoot all the red deer, let the new trees grow", and there are bound to be trade-offs (meddling with ecosystems will always have some knock-on effects, won't it?).

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:46 pm

I think defining 'wild' is tricky - when did wild start and stop? Just like Scotland, the uplands of Wales are pretty wild yet they're a very different place to what they were two thousand years ago. Some is the result of man and some the ever changing climate. Perhaps there needs to be some kind of time frame set ... we're hoping to re-wild something to how it was 100 years ago or 500 years ago.

... and yes, I'd love to see all those birds and animals that we've lost (killed off through greed, stupidity and fear) make a return. :-bd
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lune ranger
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by lune ranger » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:52 pm

Stu, your part of Wales looks like it does mainly as a result of overgrazing by sheep over the past 200 years or so.
There is a massive benchmark rewilding planned fir near Mach.
Just imagine hitting the trails with only the peaks and ridges poking out of the forest.
Tarp pitching opportunities aplenty :-bd

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:13 pm

Stu, your part of Wales looks like it does mainly as a result of overgrazing by sheep over the past 200 years or so.
That's kind of my point - do we use 200 years as a benchmark or go further back? If we're going to reintroduce Wolves, then we need to go back to at least the 1600s.

I'd also argue that this part of Wales looks largely like it does due to intensive forestry planting 60 - 70 years ago when many of the farms were bought up for peanuts.
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lune ranger
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by lune ranger » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:54 pm

No simple reason except people...
Most rewinding aims to reintroduce top level species, anilmal and plant in order to get towards a self sustaining system.
In Wales that would mean trees, beaver, boar and grazing herbivores. No reason not to add predators to that list but that's really a long way off.
My friend is a well respected adademic on this subject and the future for our children's children sounds like it could be exciting if some of these projects can get off the ground.

faustus
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by faustus » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:20 pm

Your point about what period of time to go back to is a key one. Taken broadly - this is the phenomenon of Shifting Baseline Syndrome, and is something rewilding projects have to contend with, to a degree. But it also highlights a difficulty with the way rewilding can be framed.

From my perspective, it is a far more complex idea that involves changes at an economic and systematic level, that might bring about beneficial changes. i.e. - Different ways to use and look after land that involves everyone across the economy, that produces great improvements in biodiversity across ecosystems. It seems like some (not all) current ideas involve swapping an elitist shooting or land owning privilege, with an elitist vision of a lost past turned into a kind of 're-wilded' zoo. This is only viable in the pockets of land rich people can afford to buy, but what about the people who live there and need to make a living, and what of the rest of the 99% of the land that also desperately needs ecological improvement?

ChrisF
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by ChrisF » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:24 pm

“Feral” by George Monbiot is worth a read on this subject. His view is that much of upland Britain is a man-made wasteland created by sheep farming and shooting interests. It’s not sustainable economically (relies on subsidies, not sure how that will pan out if we leave the EU), and ecologically it’s pretty grim.
He gives examples of areas of Europe that have been rewilded and local communities have benefitted, farmers actually make a better living from the influx of visitors than they did before.
Not sure I agree with all of it, but imagine lying in your tent in the hills with the sounds of wolves howling....

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ScotRoutes
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by ScotRoutes » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:50 pm

Basic choice (and one which is being argued over here) - intervene by removing non-native species and leave nature to take its course, or give nature a hand by positive rewilding. I suspect we will end up with a bit of a mix by letting plants re-establish themselves before re-introducing higher level animals. Seeing Glen Feshie gradually repairing itself is fantastic but nothing major will happen until we sort out land ownership and the grouse deserts.

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RIP
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by RIP » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:07 pm

"land ownership" - "Scotland has one of the most archaic systems of land ownership anywhere in Europe. Not only is land ownership concentrated in very few hands but more than 90% of Scotland’s land is not subject to any tax. There are no rights of inheritance of land and land in Scotland is an international commodity traded on the world market to anyone who wants to buy it. Owners are under no obligation to reveal their identity, to live on the land or to be subjected to any scrutiny"... "The Scottish Land Commission says that in extreme cases where landowners abuse their power they could face compulsory purchase or community buyouts. The commission, set up by Scottish ministers who are likely to look closely at its conclusions, found that major landowners behaved like monopolies across large areas of rural Scotland and had too much power over land use, economic investment and local communities." Make of that what you will :smile:.
Last edited by RIP on Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

lune ranger
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by lune ranger » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:16 pm

The benifits of managed rewilding are for all, not just the landed elite.
A wooded upland without canalised rivers, where beaver are free to build dams etc slows run off. Slower run off means less flooding. Ask the people of Wales, Cumbria or Yorkshire if they'd like less flooding, don't think you'd get many no's there.
I agree some proponents of rewilding paint a utopian picture that is totally bonkers but you need folk like that to drive a vision forward towards what will inevitably be a more diluted reality.

SeannyD
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by SeannyD » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:18 pm

‘The poor had no lawyers’ by Andy Wightman on Scottish land ownership. Interesting read, made me quite angry reading how people were shafted by the church, landowners and establishment.

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RIP
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by RIP » Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:29 pm

"were shafted" > "still are being shafted". Fixed for u :smile:
"There comes a time in your life Ponsonby, when you think: 'My God, I'm two-thirds of the way to the grave and what have I done?" - RIP

"It is in the petty details, not in the great results, that the interest of existence lies" - JKJ

SeannyD
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Re: Re-wilding Scotland

Post by SeannyD » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:47 pm

RIP wrote:"were shafted" > "still are being shafted". Fixed for u :smile:
Aye, so right! I thought as you get older your supposed to move to the right in your political outlook, me i’m getting more old school socialist.
F*****g Government/politicians/right wing MSM. :roll:

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