Wilding Land for Economic and Environmental Growth
Author: Amanda Goodwin, Tevi Challenge Network Manager
Challenge Network Introduction:
On 29th April 2020 Tevi convened the first meeting of its Wilding Land Challenge Network (CN). This CN aims to support enterprises across the region to recognise and implement land management practices that contribute towards environmental growth.
These practices could include allowing natural regeneration of land, giving space to wildness, planting edible / pollinator friendly species, supporting dark sky initiatives, as well as providing access to these flourishing areas for human wellbeing and health benefits.
The benefits of wilding land are significant in their contribution to addressing the climate and ecological emergencies, as well as in their provision of ecosystem services. While somewhat less documented, wilding land also has significant positive benefits for society and the economy.
Aims of this Challenge Network:
This CN aims to support small and medium sized enterprises across the region to improve the land they own, or the land they help manage. This network will achieve this aim by first creating an active community of enterprises with a common aim. Following this, the CN will work to equip this community with the guidance and funding they need to deliver improvements. We envision this network’s ultimate output being a mosaic of land across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that supports a flourishing environment, society and economy.
29 enterprises attended the first workshop, which was held online using Zoom due to Coronavirus restrictions. The format included presentations by Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Gardens of Eden UK, and Lower Marsh Farm, followed by group discussions using Zoom Breakout Rooms.
You can watch the three guest presentations below:
Outcomes of the first meeting of this Tevi Challenge Network:
Attendees were positive about the possibilities presented by wilding land but outlined several areas that need further investigation:
These areas were:
- Businesses feel ill equipped to make decisions regarding how to best wild / regenerate land, and as such are seeking expert guidance on what to do and in what order.
- Attendees understood that connectivity of wild/regenerated land is crucial and are therefore looking to Tevi, and this CN, to establish a community of landowners and managers. While each enterprise only has a small parcel of land, together these will add up.
- Further evidence is required to demonstrate the potential income streams that wilding / regenerating land can generate across ecosystem service payments/ tourism/ polluter pays/ etc.
The first meeting of this CN was an insight gathering exercise. The session produced 3 key focus areas for Tevi to take forward. This work will be completedv through desk-based research, as well as the hosting of further meetings of the CN attendees that bring in external experts.
Dates for future meeting will be shared in the bi-weekly Tevi newsletter, on twitter at @TeviCornwall and on our Eventbrite page.