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rewilding, discuss?
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dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43264
Location: yes
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 22 2:42 pm    Post subject: rewilding, discuss? Reply with quote
    

im not sure how to define rewilding

i will have a think

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 8051
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 22 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I can see the point of Knepp in a way...creating a big enough oasis that nature can re-establish and be safe. Then gradually recolonise adjacent areas..

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 14538

PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 22 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

There is too much talked about by too many people who haven't got the faintest idea what they are talking about imo.

Knepp has its points but even they run part of it on 'normal' lines as apart from the visitor side of it, they can't make it run commercially. I don't agree with vast fields covered in weed killer and other chemicals, but there is a happy medium. In the woodland industry we have a saying 'a wood that pays is a wood that stays'.

I don't know too much about farming, but the fields round our woods now have an unploughed strip round them which is a great advantage as we don't get so much run off into the woods. The borders used to have a lot of things like goosegrass and nettles, but think that is decreasing as the barrier absorbs most of that sort of thing now.

From the woodland point of view, we have mainly semi-natural ancient woodland, and some plantation on ancient woodland sites (ASNW and PAWS respectively). We are trying to increase the number of species and age range in the PAWS by thinning and opening up a few glades for natural regeneration. In one glade we currently have a good range of native species, not all of them usable as timber, but several trees that will grow on, and another is slowly redeveloping with other tree species. The areas of hazel coppice that we have brought back from semi-derelict are very good habitat as there is a range of species, and for the first couple of years after cutting there are loads of woodland flowers. This attracts all sorts of insects, of which butterflies are the easiest to spot, but also bumble bees and hornets. These in their turn attract bats, birds and small mammals that also eat flowers, berries and nuts. We have a healthy population of dormice which are breeding each year, and some interesting birds.

I had a discussion on rewilding with a 'green' fanatic, who looked knowingly at me when I told him about the work we did in the wood. We have one area we haven't touched, and this is dark, damp and probably ideal for nesting, but hopeless for food. It is slowly opening up after nearly 20 years of our ownership and possibly 40 years after the event that caused it (the 87 or 90 storms), but that is too long for wildlife to exist without food.

Anyway an interesting subject and interested to hear other peoples views.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43264
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 22 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

dark damp= probably full of food, if invertebrates and fungi are on the menu or what eats them

anyway rewilding

first thing what is "wild"?, pre industry, pre agriculture, with mega fauna, pre human, Jurassic Park?

im not sure such a thing exists on a micro scale, environmental management for "wildlife" or eco diversity is what it says on the packet but it is not rewilding



leaving a place and preventing any further human interaction is not quite rewilding if the place was changed by humans from a previous "wild"state

management for developing a sustainable biomass and biodiversity of a habitat is possible at acre or country scale in a relatively stable ecosphere

the ongoing 6th extinction event plus time and evolution could be a definition of rewilding

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43264
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 22 11:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

my little forest is not rewilding

increasing biomass and biodiversity, yep

returning a few micro habitats to temperate rain forest, yep, bonus buy

carbon capture from young woodland with trees that might store carbon long term and in the soil they are creating, yep

environmental "filter" and "life support system", yep

aurochs wolves and bears, perhaps not, although it would be fun it would not be rewilding
compared to a recent raging torrent of melt water from the pennine ice sheet or grits being laid beside long dead coal swamps bears is lightweight

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43264
Location: yes
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 22 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

when we had won and were tatting down in derbyshire i coined the word rehabitat as a way to describe removing some changes and making new ones with a micro ecosystem intention that suited the location, we had made a few microchanges in important places and by living there for nearly a decade, most of it in area terms never got footfall or alteration(quite a lot of it footfall invited sudden trauma from the landscape even if you knew the place)

the "rewilding" variation in a dormant but historically broad collection of quarry cuts and the contrast to the uncut parts adjacent to them was noticeable

imho it takes about 100 yrs for a "bare" site to develop what seems a fairly stable micro ecosystem if naturally rewilded from wild bits around them
my little forest is at least 5 times as fast in places

Nicky cigreen



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 9460
Location: Devon, uk
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 22 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

one of the things that concerns me about rewilding is is the likelihood that we will allow good farming land to rewild, pat ourselves on the back , then buy our food imported from countries who are cutting down the rainforests to grow our food.

That is rewilding here and then meeting our needs by unwilding there is not a good idea.

plus being dependent on another country to meet our needs is a mistake and should be avoided if it is logical to produce our own.

NorthernMonkeyGirl



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 4501
Location: Peeping over your shoulder
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 22 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

There are I believe 30-odd definitions of "rewilding" and the proponents of each spend a lot of time fighting about definitions and against greenwashing.
No-mow May is not "rewilding" but it is worthwhile.
A group near me is doing fairly standard nature reserve care, but went all in with the rewilding talk, upset all the neighbours, attracted the wrong sort of attention due to their patrons, and had to get themselves out of a sticky situation.

Personally I'm in favour of "letting go" or reducing management; seeing if a wood grows itself before you plant it. There is nowhere in the UK that has not been touched by humans. (compare / contrast a need to not mess up Antarctica).

How do we give nature space from our influence whilst regaining our own connection to it? We are part of healthy ecosystems but we can also overwhelm them in the blink of an eye.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 14538

PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 22 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I agree with what all of you are saying. Our wood has been managed for centuries. We think it is at least 1000 years old as woodland, but before that, in the Bronze Age, it was fields, as the field systems are still under the wood. Some time between then and Saxon times, it became rewooded, but we have no idea when.

By the 19th century it was hazel coppice in the north and hazel with standards in the south; we still have the remains of that but it wasn't managed for over 50 years. We have restored some of the coppice by the simple expedient of taking out or thinning the tall trees. We find that once we deer fence, we get natural regeneration of hazel and various other species including oak, ash, field maple and several others.

It worries me too that productive farm land that could be run on a sustainable basis is being taken out of production to grow trees; often the wrong ones and planted, or allowed to 'rewild' when it would be better used for food growing. It also worries me that some special habitats like heathland, downland etc might be 'rewilded' and destroyed. We have a good example of what happens to downland near us. Part of one hill has yew and whitebeam woodland on it and underneath there is virtually just chalk scree rather than downland turf rich in flora species.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 8051
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 22 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

When I have seen TV programmes about tree planting, they seem to be far too close and in a grid pattern... doesn't feel right.

gz



Joined: 23 Jan 2009
Posts: 8051
Location: Ayrshire, Scotland
PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 22 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

When I have seen TV programmes about tree planting, they seem to be far too close and in a grid pattern... doesn't feel right.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 14538

PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 22 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

They also have a bad habit of waving the tree roots around in the air for some time so they could have dried out. Chances of tree surviving minimal. There is also a lot of tree planting, but nobody talks about after care. Even on a good site with well planted trees there will be 'beating up' or replacing the ones that die, and of course thinning in due course.

We have a very good example of this in the woodland complex where our wood is. One owner hasn't done anything with the plantation of beech trees, and they are skinny and some are starting to die where they are overtopped by others. The trees on the opposite side of the ride have been thinned a few times and are a great deal larger and healthier, and there is some greenery between the ones on the edge.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 43264
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Dec 07, 22 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

leaving aside the advantages of planting seed rather than whips, most new plantings tend to be monoculture blocks with few species and single strains in regular patterns even if more than one species is planted

little thought is given to progression of species over time, soil makers and guard trees etc, nor to short term care while infants get established and timely management every decade or so to thin monoculture plantings if required

i took a different approach, it seems to work and it may be more resistant to pestilential and environmental stress as well as becoming "mixed woodland" a hundred times faster than planting monocultures and walking away

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 14538

PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 22 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

I think these days they do plant mixed species, although how suitable they are for the site might be debatable in some cases. My feeling is that sometimes it might be better to just fence in a site and see what happens. If there are trees anywhere near, it will wood up with the 'right' species in places where they will grow. As you say, at present, nothing is being planned about managing these new woodlands. There will have to be several thinnings before anything economic comes out of them, and that will cost money, which probably won't be forthcoming.

Ty Gwyn



Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 4476
Location: Lampeter
PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 22 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
    

When the collieries were working forests had regular thinnings,a forest not far from here is criminal to see,never been thinned since planting,full of dead standing timber.

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