The first ever World Rewilding Day will be launched on 20th March this year… coinciding with the UK’s spring equinox! But what is rewilding? Why is it important? And how can you take part?
What is ‘rewilding’?
Rewilding is all about giving more space to the wild, connecting those places up, restoring nature to help us create landscapes that are fit for wildlife and making sure important species are then returned to them.
Why is it important?
Rewilding helps tackle climate change by helping nature to capture and store carbon. By letting nature be itself, carbon dioxide is captured through photosynthesis and stored in the plant, particularly wood, and it can eventually end up in the soil. The more carbon stored in plants and soil the less remains in the atmosphere.
The amount of wildlife we will save going forward will also depend on how much space we give to nature. The more space we give, the more species will survive. The best supported ‘rule’ in ecology is called the ‘species area relationship’, which states that the bigger the habitat the more species it will hold. In a global assessment of the state of nature across 218 countries, Britain ranked 189th – only 29 countries have more degraded nature than we do! Therefore, rewilding in the UK is particularly important for improving our natural spaces.
Spending time in wild nature is also good for your physical and mental health and wellbeing!
How can I support rewilding?
- Connect with nature by spending more time outside and exploring your local green spaces.
- Speak to neighbours about creating ‘hedgehog holes’ in garden fences, to allow wildlife to move freely.
- Create a wild patch in your garden, or speak to your local council, school or workplace about creating rewilded spaces in their open areas. Letting grass grow, planting wild flowers and building bug houses can go a long way!
- Write to your MP and ask what they are doing to support natural spaces and the inclusion of ‘wildlife corridors’ in your area.
- Share your rewilding photos, projects and tips with us on Instagram! Tag #YourWorldYourFuture
Last year, Planetary launched a video series in collaboration with the University of Sussex and ecology professor, Dr. Chris Sandom. You can watch the entire series, find out more about rewilding and discover tips and projects to practice rewilding yourself here!