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The Wildland Research Institute (WRi) aims to identify and elucidate the requirements, strategies and policies for a transition to a greater presence of wild landscapes within the wider land use continuum of Britain and Europe (click here). The broad activities of the Institute combine social and natural sciences, as well as the arts and literary world, in leading-edge, interdisciplinary research. Our main research areas and expertise include:

  • Mapping and modelling wildness attributes and wilderness quality
  • Landscape evaluation
  • Re-wilding and habitat restoration
  • Policy analysis and advice
  • Tracking developments in European wilderness protection (click here)

Headlines:

Mapping impacts on wilderness in Iceland: A new report written and produced by WRi (Steve Carver and Ollie Kenyon) for Ófeig detailing the impacts on wilderness in northwest Iceland from a proposed hydro-power plant have recently made public. Analyses show that a development of the scale proposed would have a significant adverse impact on the qualities of this area of wilderness, with the likely outcome that if the development goes ahead the area of wilderness in the vicinity would be reduced by between 26,300-28,400ha or 45-48.5%. A copy of the full report can be found here.

Wildland Research Institute chairs IUCN Rewilding Thematic Group: Steve Carver and Ian Convery are acting as Co-chairs for the new IUCN CEM Rewilding Task Force (now a Thematic Group) along with Mark Fisher, Sally Hawkins, Erwin van Maanen and Adam Eagle. The task force’s goal is to synthesise and streamline the theory and practice of rewilding through a sharing of experience within the wider (and growing) rewilding community. Workshops were held in White Oak, Florida in April 2019 and London May 2019 to develop a unifying set of principles for rewilding that can be applied across the globe. Read more here.

Alan Watson awarded prestigious position in USFS: A panel of scientists from across the United States met in January to review the career accomplishments of Supervisory Research Social Scientist Dr. Alan Watson of the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. The panel recommended Watson be promoted to an “ST” graded position in recognition of his contributions and leadership on wilderness science teams facilitated by the Leopold Institute. Read more here.

Mapping the spread of wind farms across Scotland: A new animation showing the visual impact from industrial wind energy developments across Scotland from 1995 to 2015 has been developed by WRi with the John Muir Trust. This is now available here.

New Book: A Dream of a Low Carbon Future by James McKay and Benjamin Dickinson. A graphic novel describing Leeds and the county of Yorkshire (now Elmet) in the post sea level rise world of 2150.

Ongoing projects:

  • Mapping wildness in France with IUCN.
  • Updates to animation of spread of wind farms and their visual impact across Scotland. See animation here.
  • IUCN CEM Rewilding Task Force. See web pages here.

Latest publication: Carver, S. (2019) Rewilding through land abandonment. in Rewilding N.Pettorelli et al. (eds).

Quote of the week: “The Wilderness holds answers to more questions than we have yet learned to ask.”  Nancy Newhall.