In the seventh article in the Wilding for Conservation series, Tom Williamson, provides a landscape historian’s perspective on rewilding, discussing its practical and philosophical limitations, and the role it can play in future conservation strategies alongside other managment approaches. ‘Rewilding’ is a slippery word. Often used to describe the minimisation or removal of human interventions from extensive tracts
Management for conservation often attempts to replicate the practices that were prevalent in historical times. There does, however, appear to be a lack of understanding of exactly what ‘traditional’ management would have involved, meaning that current conservation interventions may not be adequate for achieving their goals. Paul Dolman, Tom Williamson, Rob Fuller and Gerry Barnes describe
Historians often bring a different perspective to ideas of landscape ecology. Here the authors show how the dominance of just three trees in the English farmed landscape is not a result of ‘natural processes’, but a deliberate economic choice made over centuries. For some conservation issues, it is useful to have an historical perspective in
Current agri-environmental policies are encouraging the restoration of heathland, a habitat which was much more extensive before the large-scale reclamations of the 18th and 19th centuries and the widespread conifer-planting (and further reclamations) of the 20th.