Creating a New National Park for Britain.

George Monbiot’s new charity ‘Rewilding Britain’ will launch later this year. He is currently looking for the first director to lead it (although interviews are now over, at least as I understand it). His recent article on Scottish land reform, published in the Guardian earlier this week cut to the core of the aims of the rewilding project. In the article he makes it clear his views that we should be creating ‘real’ national parks in the UK (particularly Scotland) based on being owned by the nation and managed for wildlife, neither of which our parks currently are. When the International Union for Conservation of Nature sought to classify Britain’s national parks, of which there are 15, it had to invent a new category. Shifting towards a kind of park more like the international definition would be a huge step forward for conservation in this country, if one takes the Monbiot view. It would also, so he argues, boost tourism and therefore increase numbers of jobs. For me, this seems common sense. It wouldn’t work in many places across the UK given the way that communities are embedded within most park landscapes. However, certain areas are ‘empty’ of people enough to justify the designation. In his article Monbiot calls on large landowners to donate estates for the purpose of this grand project. We will have to wait to see if this is the first project of Rewilding Britain. Watch this space…

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