Interesting rewilding showcases
Unfortunately, there are no large natural areas in Europe (anymore) which are completely wild and where all natural processes can take their course, with no human intervention and where all native species (especially those who have a dominant role in shaping landscapes) are present, or present in natural numbers. Nevertheless in Europe there are many areas that show interesting and exciting examples of how rewilding can take shape.
Many organizations and initiatives are aware of the creative power of nature, the resilience of ecosystems and the recovery capacity of wildlife species. Providing the space and time for natural processes to take their course again and wildlife species to come back has already shown some amazing results. We would like to share experiences and lessons learned with these initiatives, communicate about them, celebrate their successes and learn from them.
Therefore we have started to develop a network of rewilding examples from all over Europe. The first ones are presented below and we believe this list of areas will grow rapidly. Please feel invited and contact us if you feel your area should be part of this exciting network of rewilding examples from all over Europe!
The Oostvaardersplassen is a Dutch nature reserve that is unique in Europe. The management is based on natural processes and natural grazing is a key process. Grazing by thousands of grey leg geese, hundreds of wild cattle, horses and red deer created one of Europes richest wetland habitats in Europe. An inspiring example to see large herbivores at work. Read more.
Alladale is an extraordinary project to restore the Scottish highlands to their natural glory, regenerating one of the oldest, most beautiful and inspirational wild places in Europe. Read more.
The Bavarian Forest in Germany and adjoining Sumava in the Czech Republic is a huge forest in Central Europe. The natural process of forest decay and regeneration triggered by bark beetle is very visible. In Germany the affected forest are seen as being part of nature. In and around the German visitor centre Haus zur Wildnis ("House of Wilderness") original wildlife is visible including Eurasian wild horse and wild cattle. Read more.
The explosion at the Chernobyl reactor in 1986 spewed radiation that affected broad areas of Europe and poisoned an enormous area on both sides of the border between what's now Ukraine and Belarus. Humans are not allowed to live in the area and nature took over the houses, fields and roads. A paradise or a disaster area?
Ticha Valley in the Slovakian Tatras is a excellent example what can happen when men and their grazing domestic animals disappear. Chamois, red deer and even brown bear, the Keeper of the Wilderness returns. Read more.