A Focus On Nature

Rewilding Workshop


Since the publication of George Monbiot’s book ‘Feral, rewilding – the concept of ecosystem restoration by reinstating natural process, such as the reintroduction of missing keystone species – has risen to become one of the most popular topics of discussion within conservation, whether it be with enthusiasm from ecologists or concern from land managers. Whatever the outcome, rewilding is increasingly likely to become a more prevalent option for the next generation of conservationists in an environment where new, dramatic measures are needed to preserve wildlife along side a growing population.

This workshop is designed to give up to 50 young people between the ages of 16 and 30 the chance to learn from professionals already involved within rewilding programmes, and discuss the practicalities of rewilding for the future.

The workshop will be hosted at the Wildwood Trust near Canterbury in Kent, a wildlife conservation park and charity actively involved in reintroducing British keystone species to our ecosystems. The park has a wide range of captive fauna that are common features of rewilding debate such as beaver, lynx and wolf, and attendees will have the chance to see these up close and discuss the outcomes of their possible reintroduction.


Date: Monday 20th April 2015

Time: 9am-5pm.

Venue: Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Herne Bay, Kent CT6 7LQ.

Price: Tickets are priced £12.00 per person.

Catering: Tea & coffee will be included in the ticket price, but attendees should either bring their own lunch or purchase it themselves from the on-site café.

Age: As this is an event designed specifically for A Focus on Nature, attendees should be between 16 and 30 years of age – however, individuals younger than this are welcome to attend, provided they are accompanied by an adult.

Requirements: Stout footwear, such as walking boots or wellingtons, and appropriate outdoor clothing will be needed while out in the park. The paths are natural earth and can be muddy with puddles after rain.

Travel: Wildwood Trust is easily accessible by car with plenty of free parking. It is also accessible from Canterbury or Herne Bay via the 4 or 6 bus route and by taxi. Find out more here.

Accommodation: A Focus on Nature is not able to provide accommodation or expenses for it, and if members wish to have somewhere to stay the night before and/or after the event it is their responsibility to find it. A list of suggested accommodation is available here.


To secure a place, please e-mail Peter Cooper at pc344@exeter.ac.uk for a booking form and payment information.


9.00 Arrivals

9.30 Welcome & Introduction

10.00 The work of Wildwood and the economy of rewilding – Peter Smith (Chief Executive, Wildwood Trust)

10.30 Break

11.00 Trees for Life – Alan Watson-Featherstone (Director, Trees for Life)

11.30 The Great Fen Project – Kate Carver (Project Manager, Great Fen Project)

12.00 Outdoor guided tour – key species in rewilding (inc. wolf, bear, lynx, beaver & wild boar)

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Lynx reintroduction – Jamie Wyver (MSc student, Imperial College London)

14.30 Bringing back the beaver – Peter Smith

15.00 Break

15.30 Debate – Miles King (Independent ecologist), Simon Phelps (Warwickshire Wildlife Trust), Alan Watson-Featherstone, Patrick Barker (Farmer & Conservationist), Chaired by Peter Cooper

17.00 Closing remarks & finish


About the Wildwood Trust

Wildwood Trust opened in 1999 as a centre of excellence for the conservation of British wildlife, and was established as a registered charity in 2002. Set in 40 acres of ancient woodland, it is home to over 200 native animals past and present including wolves, brown bears, bison, deer, owls, foxes, red squirrels, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers, beavers and many more. Wildwood Trust is dedicated to saving Britain’s most threatened wildlife, and have taken part in many ground-breaking conservation programmes to date, which include using wild horses to help restore Kent’s most precious nature reserves, bringing the extinct European beaver back to Britain and returning the water vole, hazel dormouse & red squirrel to areas where they have been made extinct.