Skip to main content
Read page text

Page Text

All artwork by Crystal Worl @crystalworl

Two-thirds of the UK is owned by just 0.36% of the population – often aristocrats, foreign tycoons and corporations. Pushback from rural communities can partly be understood in the context of the continual erosion of land rights by the wealthy and powerful over the centuries. In Europe at least, rewilding efforts could be truly transformational and liberatory by targeting land owned and degraded by elites and their pastimes, such as grouse moors (which occupy 8% of the combined area in England and Scotland) and golf courses (which use twice as much land as housing in the UK) and helping to bring land back into collective and public ownership to exist as common wildland.

The story of how the wolves of Yellowstone have transformed its rivers has become a well-known example of the ‘trophic cascades’ rewilding celebrates. Perhaps one day we will be able to tell the story of how Indigenous people were able to return to places like Yellowstone. For now, park authorities have only (finally) agreed to include them in their information guides.

There are no simple answers, but ultimately it has to be about relationships. In restoring ecosystems, we must ensure that human cultures are not erased in the process through domination of one culture over another. Robin Wall Kimmerer, a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, says: “Restoring land without restoring relationship is an empty exercise. It is relationship that will endure and relationship that will sustain the restored land.” Our relationships with Nature, ourselves and each other all inescapably influence each other. As long as white people oppress people of colour, settler-colonists oppress Indigenous cultures, men oppress women, and humans oppress Nature, oppression and domination will poison all of our relationships. True liberation can only happen if it takes place on all levels: in the end, no one is free until we are all free.

Kara Moses is a facilitator of social and ecological regeneration, and a freelance writer.

Issue 319

Resurgence & Ecologist


Skip to main content