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Rewilding the landscape

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Malcolm_Stewart, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I was watching Country File a few nights ago, and something said caught my attention. This 9 side pdf goes some way to explain the thoughts of people in the field, and prior to reading it, I hadn't realised that things were so advanced, and that it's not just remote parts of Scotland which are being considered.
    I'm afraid that I struggle to understand why going back in this was is a good thing, although I think I do understand the dangers of mono-cultures and similar on the environment.

    Much closer to home, I doubt whether my neighbours would appreciate it if I rewilded my small garden any more - it looks pretty unkempt as it is, but the range of fungi does seem to be increasing.
     
  2. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    I think many of the ideas already in place and being considered in Scotland are frankly insane and could only come from the minds of those who believe themselves to be infallible and objectors to be dangerous heretics. The recently reintroduced sea eagles have already killed sheep in considerable numbers. Restocking with large ground carnivores can only make such a situation worse. The farmers will not stand idly by while the fantasies of tree-hugging graduates and desk flyers threaten their livelihoods.

    The UK overall is one of the most crowded parts of Europe in terms of human population. This isn't the USA where there are huge parks like Yellowstone where wolves could be reintroduced fairly safely.

    I'm certainly not anti-conservation. My late father went into the Environmental Stewardship schemes a decade ago, and the chap from the regional Wildlife Trusts has told me in front of a Natural England representative that this farm is one of the best conservation areas he's seen. There has to be balance however. One local downside has been the impact of the red kites on the Chilterns which I am convinced have put an end to the recent growth of the brown hare population here. Three or four years ago one could look out the window and see six to eight animals on the field in front of the house; I've not seen any now since the spring of 2010 which is desperately sad, and the local rabbit population has also declined hugely.

    Finally, whoever coined the term 'rewilding' should be shot, frankly. :(
     
  3. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    If you want to avoid dangerous wild animals, you should probably live in a city.

    Personally I'm opposed to re-introducing animals which have been extinct for decades or centuries, the ecosystem they depended on has been destroyed (largely by human interference) which is why they became extinct ... OTOH there are certainly a number of animals which are now seriously endangered by habitat destruction, something which should not be allowed to continue.

    IMVHO the only wild creature in Scotland which is a serious pest, or is ever likely to become one, is the midge.
     
  4. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    What I don't understand is how this seems to have got going with very little public debate. Is it that bodies such as Natural England get given reasonable powers by government and then quietly get taken over by zealots, who push the boundaries as far as they can? It's not an area I know much about, but I do find the idea alarming - particularly now when it appears to be happening in the Ennerdale area of the Lake District. Is one logical extension to this idea, that places such as WWT Slimbridge will no longer be allowed to save endangered species of wildfowl?
     
  5. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    Wolf, Bear, Eagle and many others were removed from the environment by being hunted, not due to changes in the ecosystem.

    I'm all for them to be re-introduced. The wolf especially as it's the best way to control the over populated numbers of deer.
     
  6. Dorset_Mike

    Dorset_Mike Grumpy Old Fart

    Well you would wouldn't you? [​IMG]
     
  7. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    The only objectors to this scheme are the humans. Which will obviously be the case but it can only show how objectionable a species we truly are. I noticed how one poster mentioned that there was a decline in the rabbit population. Well bright eyes to you but how could that be a bad thing.

    Anyone that thinks the planet is in a better shape because it's under the guardianship of the human race. Wake up it's time to smell the coffee.
     
  8. Old git

    Old git In the Stop Bath

    Afraid I agree with that. Once the human race is gone fish eagles... et al will be abounding in the places that our wild life have been driven away from.
     
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Er, no posters (before you) mentioned rabbits. One poster mentioned brown hares, which are by no stretch of the imagination rabbits.
     
  10. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    Sorry Nick... TimF did:
     
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Then my apologies to Frank, I missed that. Must say I've no sympathy for the rabbits, unlike the hares.
     
  12. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    Nor me. Although chasing rabbits is more than than chasing hares. You can catch rabbits and they don't kick you unlike hares!
     
  13. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Leaving theme of thread slightly while adding seagulls from north-east and east Scotland to your list, there may be good environmental reasons for eliminating midges.

    If the midge is anything like the mosquito in emissions, midges must account for a substantial CO2 output even if their habitat is not as methane productive as that of the mosquito.
     
  14. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    I shouldn't need to say this, but for the wilfully purblind my comment on rabbits was in passing. My concern is also for the brown hares which had been overshot in decades past to the point of local extinction. A slow recovery has it seems been halted in its tracks and sent into sharp reverse by, dare I say it, human interference in the reintroduction of red kites along the Chilterns. The same birds also seem to have pushed out the buzzards we had here.

    Physician heal thyself. I've lived in the countryside all my life and am not inclined to take lectures from townies.
     
  15. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Funny things:

    1) The Irish hare has become much rarer recently - coincidental with a clampdown on illegal coursing

    2) The rural fox has become less common in rural areas, coincidental with the banning of hunting with dogs - though I gather that the fox is becoming more common in towns and cities

    Obviously populations do vary but there is sufficient anecdotal evidence that recreational hunting is not always detrimental to the target species ... it's only when you have an excessive population density and the prey is being cleaned out of areas that you have an issue ... otherwise alteration of the environment (removal of hedgerows, excessive use of pesticides etc) is much more likely to be responsible for species disappearing.

    I don't think there's much difference between sea eagles and golden eagles - both have been persecuted in the past and both have been severely affected by DDT - sure they'll scavenge fallen livestock but there is little evidence of active predation. Golden eagles probably escaped because the tend to live in areas which are less accessible.
     
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    We seem to have had a substantial increase in the buzzard population over the last 15 years; I live on the very edge of town, with farmland across the stream at the bottom of the garden. When we first moved here, I saw one buzzard in five years; now they're a common sight, soaring over our garden, perched on telegraph poles and so on, so maybe they've been displaced up the M40 corridor.
     
  17. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I disagree. The best way to manage the overpopulation of the native deer is to exploit them for the production of venison. Ideally muntjac would be shot out altogether. They do too much damage; they are not native to Britain and are of little use.
     
  18. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

  19. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    When the environment is changing so dramatically under our influence why should we expect the natural world to not respond?

    Graeme
     
  20. Bejay

    Bejay Well-Known Member

    Sadly I doubt I will see wolf re-introduction in my lifetime.
    The quoted arguments against in the article highlight the real problem is mankind and its paranoia's and self interests. OK I can understand the position of farmers in regards of their livestock, but as in Europe they could employ protection dogs. The complaints by the bloodsport brigade that their 'sports' and 'enjoyment' will be affected are worthless; go find another hobby - and I don't mean
    Falco subbuteo.
     

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