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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)


Mapping 4×4 impacts on wilderness in Iceland: A new report written and produced by WRi (Steve Carver, Ollie Kenyon and Ben Carver) for Náttúruverndarsamtök Íslands, Samtök um náttúruvernd á Norðurlandi, Skrauti and Ungir umhverfissinnar, detailing the impacts on wilderness in the Vonarskarð area of the Vatnajökull National Park from a hypothetical 4×4 access route has recently made public. Analyses show that the 4×4 route would have a significant adverse impact on the qualities of this area of wilderness, with the likely outcome that if allowed the area of wilderness in the vicinity would be reduced by 6515ha or 54%. A copy of the full report can be found Vonarskarð Report v1.7.

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 Florida, London, Brussels, Bratislava and Cape Town to develop a unifying set of principles for rewilding that can be applied across the globe. Read more here.

Ongoing projects:

  • Mapping wildness in France with IUCN.
  • Mapping wilderness in the central highlands, Iceland.
  • IUCN CEM Rewilding Task Force. See web pages here.

Latest publication: Carver, S. et al (2021) Guiding Principles fro Rewilding. in Conservation Biology.

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