Wilding, Rewilding and Regeneration in the High Peak

Wilding at Sunart Fields - tree planting, November 2021 (D Purchase)

Wilding, Rewilding, Regeneration: What do they and similar terms mean?

Under development

The Protection and Restoration of Biodiversity in the High Peak

Biodiversity can be protected, promoted and restored at all scales

Scale of management

(increasing as area gets smaller)








Very large region with apex predators



100,000 ha plus


Yellowstone, USA


Predator management/mimicking



Large region with wild grazers


10,000 ha plus


Cairngorm, Scotland


Domestic animals as proxies



Quite large


c.1,000 ha plus


Knepp Estate


Managed domestic animals as proxies






100 ha plus




Managed domestic animals





10 ha plus


Sunart Fields, Whaley Bridge


Managed vegetation



Very small


1 ha plus



Gardening for wildlife


Domestic garden



Less than 1 ha



Gardening for wildlife





Minimum area


Table adapted from The Book of Wilding: A Practical Guide to Rewilding, Big and Small, by Isabella Tree.

The small scale: Gardening for Wildlife

Gardening for Wildlife: How to do it and ‘Question Time’ expert panel

A really fantastic evening at Buxton Field Club on wildlife gardening. Huge thanks to our amazing and knowledgeable panel (Mark Cocker, Rachel Evatt, Sandra Nock and Jill Westrick), our brilliant audience – there was literally standing room only, and to everyone who helped with refreshments.

Due to its success and the wide interest in this subject, which we would really like to share and promote, we have put this video up on our YouTube channel for public viewing rather than restricting it to BFC members.

The small to medium scale: Wilding at Sunart Fields in Whaley Bridge

Here is the excellent talk given to BFC on 20th March 2021 by Rachel Evatt, land manager and farmer, on her family’s wilding project at Sunart Fields, Whaley Bridge.

Sunart: Field awaiting wilding 08/07/2020 (D Purchase)
Sunart: Field awaiting wilding 08/07/2020 (D Purchase)
Sunart: Field with scrub, 08/07/2020 (D Purchase)
Sunart: Field dominated by dock awaiting tree planting 08/07/2020 (D Purchase)
Sunart: Field dominated by dock awaiting wilding 08/07/2020 (D Purchase)
Sunart: Field dominated by dock awaiting wilding 08/07/2020 (D Purchase)
Wilding at Sunart: Hedge planting, 04/03/2021 (D Purchase)
Wilding at Sunart: Hedge planting, 04/03/2021 (D Purchase)

Click the button to go to the Sunart Fields website. It’s well worth a visit.

The small to medium scale: Wilding at Thornhill Carrs, near Bamford

This button takes you to all the iNaturalist observations within the Thornhill Carrs Nature Reserve (visit their website here). The reserve is a 30-hectare area of former farmland, situated on the east side of Win Hill, south of Ladybower Reservoir and above the River Derwent. What makes it truly special is its unmanaged wildness, a rarity in this region.  

‘Thornhill is a steep sided valley dominated by extensive hawthorn scrub and open glades. The reserve is important for summer bird migrants when you can hear blackcap, chiff chaff and willow warbler taking advantage of this ever rarer habitat. In July the site is rich in wildflowers which attract many species of bee, butterfly and hoverfly. It is a new site to DWT that we have managed since spring 2020, and we plan to take a new approach in its management allowing nature to dictate how the site evolves. We will have grazing animals on the site in very low numbers to keep the clearings open and keep the scrub and bramble in check.’

The Wider Biodiversity Network

The first and only country-wide organisation in Britain focusing on rewilding and the amazing benefits it can bring for people, nature and climate. 

The essentials of their vision are:

“Rewilding Britain […] wants to see a mosaic of species-rich habitats restored and connected across at least 30% of Britain’s land and sea by 2030. But it is not enough to simply expand our National Parks and other protected areas, which are often degraded and over-managed. We must radically reconsider what we are asking of our land and seas. We must think big and act wild.

“Rewilding Britain’s vision for achieving 30% by 2030 is to expand the scale, quality and connectivity of our native habitats through:

  • The creation of core rewilding areas across at least 5% of Britain. These areas should focus on restoring and reinstating as wide a range of natural processes, habitats and missing species as possible. What will emerge is a diverse mosaic of native forest, peat bogs, heaths, species-rich grasslands wetlands, saltmarshes, kelp beds, seagrass and living reefs.
  • The establishment of nature-enhancing land and marine uses across at least 25% of Britain. These will embed and connect up core rewilding areas within broader mosaic of land and marine uses such as low-impact mixed forestry, harvesting of natural products, nature-based tourism and high-nature value grazing.

“We see this starting to form climate corridors which, through substantially expanding habitat quality and connectivity, also increase carbon capture and allow species to disperse and migrate as our climate heats. Climate corridors will accelerate momentum by connecting and enhancing a myriad of existing initiatives as well as inspiring new ones. From Cornwall to Caithness, the Norfolk Broads to the Brecon Beacons, from doorsteps to mountain tops, from river’s source to the sea.”


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