What is Rewilding?
30th January 2020
Rewilding, its a term you may be hearing more and more recently, in contrast this might be the first time you have come across it. Perhaps you've landed here on a hunt to understand what it actually means... firstly, rewilding means something different to each person, a little like slow living, there is no one-size-fits all definition, however, we can delve a little more into what its all about...
When most people think of rewilding, they instantly think of setting animals free or returning land back to wild land, but what if we apply these same theories to humans, to our lives?
Let me start by saying that I am just starting out my journey of rewilding, I am merely reading and interpreting how I see the world... So, what if we start to apply the view of rewilding the land and wildlife back to our own human lives? Lets first look at a quote from an article on Creative Countryside:
The term ‘rewild’ appeared somewhere between 1980 and 1985, just before the internet, smart phones and modern technology began to underpin everything we do. It gained traction in 2013 when George Monbiot wrote the book Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life [AD]. It explores in detail the approach to rewilding many of us are familiar with - that of restoring an area of land to its natural, uncultivated state, and which specifically references the reintroduction of species of wild animal that have been driven out. But he also remarks: “there are two definitions of rewilding that interest me. The second is the rewilding of human life. While some primitivists see a conflict between the civilised and the wild, the rewilding I envisage has nothing to do with shedding civilization. We can, I believe, enjoy the benefits of advanced technology while also enjoying, if we choose, a life richer in adventure and surprise. Rewilding is not about abandoning civilization but about enhancing it. It is to ‘love not man the less, but Nature more’.”
This is exactly the rewilding journey I want to take us on, one where we are taking note of the earth around us, spending time in nature, cooking from scratch, growing the food we are cooking, understanding what needs to happen in each season, working in line with the planet and taking us back to our wilder days where we understood the earth.
For me, technology and modern day conveniences, such as power and the ability to cook something in an oven, even being able to research anything at anytime, shouldn't be shunned here, but instead of using them to play games until 1am or watching 100's of people do the same dance for 30 seconds at a time, or for heating something made in a huge factory a month ago, we should be using this to discover a beautiful walk and taking ourselves on this walk to fill our lungs with air, we should be researching how to grow carrots and how to store them once picked, we should be looking at how we can use natural power, sunlight for example, to extend our growing season in the garden, we should be listening to people telling us about how they are rewilding and being inspired to try their version. We should be watching videos about the best way to pair carrots with leftover herbs from the garden...
For me, rewilding looks like this... I want to understand nature, I want to be able to identify a bird, spend all day walking, I want to be able to grow and cook my own veg, or choose in season veg from the local greengrocers who can tell me exactly where it was grown. I want to understand how we can still grow crops and eat meat, while being kinder to the planet, because I don't believe the solution is vegan.
I want to walk in the rain, see nature growing, I want to help bees survive, watch sunsets, swim in the sea, appreciate the summer rain and winter sun, pick fresh tomatoes and not worry about washing chemicals off them, reduce the amount of items I purchase which aren't needed, understand the changes I can make in my home to positively impact the planet and understand when I need to spend a day inside, with a duvet and Netflix, because rewilding, for me, is about balance...
I would love to know how you see rewilding, what you would want to achieve by rewilding? For now, I will leave you with some photos of our misty walk to Start Point, normally, I would stick to the path, but on this day I was drawn to the tiny trodden tracks in the grass, up across rocks and on steep edges, only slipping once going on a steep downhill, the feeling at the end of the process was pure magic, windswept and full of happiness, the opposite side of the rocks opened to stunning views and rugged coastlines, hard winds and even saltier air, I felt closer to the force of nature, making me feel perfectly small in comparison... I was glad however to be back on the wide path once we eventually found ourselves on it again!
There is an Instagram story highlight called Rewilding if you want to see some videos from our time on the rocks...
Emma & Mike, husband & wife, homebodys, although not ones to shy away from adventure, we created Vincent Trading with a passion for traditional methods, beauty in imperfection and our planet.
We live by the sea in South Devon and find ourselves listening to the waves after long days creating, we love nothing more than a cosy night by a fire with our little Cyprus rescue dog Lola.