Get involved in rewilding the living coast!
We are so lucky to have so many wild places across the Living Coast. The South Downs National Park, our wonderful beaches, our lively seas, and even some of our city parks are important havens for wildlife and essential green and blue spaces that keep us feeling good about life itself! Fortunately for people and wildlife, Sussex is also at the heart of an exciting new movement to increase biodiversity and bring back more wildlife through a process called rewilding!
Rewilding is the restoration of ecosystems (wild places) where nature can take care of itself. The rewilding concept seeks to break free from our long held beliefs that wildlife must be managed in a prescriptive way. Instead, we have realised that if given the freedom and space, nature finds an amazing balance that gives life a new lease of life!
Critical to the success of rewilding is the reintroduction of animals that we have lost from our wild places! We are finally realising that when we killed off the last wolf, bear, wild boar, bison, elephant, and beaver in this country (yes, they all thrived here once), we killed far more than the animals themselves! This is because large animals that eat vegetation or hunt other animals effectively engineer places and make them wilder as they wander around. They trample, chew, hunt, rub, and dig their way through the landscape and create habitats for lots of other plants and beasties! Knepp Estate in West Sussex has been leading the way in developing rewilding initiatives in the UK, including reintroduction programmes for wild horses, traditional cattle, and white storks. Now, Wilderlife is developing new ways in which we can apply rewilding principles to smaller spaces by replicating the work of ecosystem engineers like bears and wild boars ourselves!
At Wilderlife we show people how to rewild through bespoke rewilding
walks, workshops, and team building days. We run
immersive, fun, and active experiences that teach individuals, businesses, schools,
and whole communities how to rewild the places we live. We teach a bunch of
simple ways to turn our small and big spaces, rooftops, gardens, urban and
rural land back to nature in a way that brings us more food, more wildlife, more
exercise for our minds and bodies, and more happiness than ever before!
And as if that isn't enough, rewilding really is the gift that keeps on giving! Rewilding is party time for wildlife! Once we let it run free, nature will lock up pollution, suck up carbon dioxide, create flood defences, fight climate change, build homes for more species, and provide us with more yummy food than we ever thought possible! You don’t need to know anything about nature to get involved. Once you get started it's as easy as 1,2,3!
Wilderlife’s bespoke rewilding activities include:
Walks on the wild side
Our wild side walks through the South Downs National Park are tailored for your needs, including individuals and groups. These walks are designed to give you time and space to free up your mind and connect with nature and your surroundings. Our walks also allow you to get under the skin of nature and experience a wilder life! Forage for wild foods, track animals, learn bird song, navigate using nature signposting, and much more!
Our regenerative foraging workshops follow the techniques and values of indigenous communities around the world. The principle of regenerative foraging is that we give back more to nature than we take as food, encouraging more wild food and enriched ecosystems everywhere we go! This fun and inspiring outdoor workshop will include a foraging session in the beautiful South Downs National Park where we will teach the techniques of regenerative foraging, including seed, fruit and nut planting; the value of cuttings; natural fertilisers; foraging invasive species; and rewilding wild foods!
Team building and workshop sessions - Become a Wilderlife Engineer!
Our team building days are at the very heart of our rewilding programme and are our number one most popular choice! With activities for all group sizes and all ages, we will put your crafting and grafting skills and creative thinking to the test as you build your own natural habitats and take a piece of them home with you! As a wilderlife engineer you will build beaver dams, construct stork nests, learn wild boar rooting techniques (your colleagues may not live this down for a while), knock down trees elephant style, light fires that grow mushrooms, trample ponds for freshwater shrimps and so much more!
Community rewilding - the time has come!
We are working with our community here in Lewes, East Sussex, to create a Community Rewilding Mosaic. Our aim is to link together pieces of land large and small, within our town, and outside, and to use rewilding techniques to regenerate our land and reverse the ecosystem collapse and climate change challenges that are facing us all. We're new to this. We haven't really got a clue. But that's what makes it very exciting! So if you want to do the same in the place where you live, get in touch and we'll happily share with you our experience so far!
For more information about any of these activities contact us here.