WN Events in 2008

Wild free and coming back? (16-17 Sept)

Towards a joined up policy on connected landscapes (May/June 2008)

Events in 2007

Living with Beavers and Large Carnivores in Bavaria (16-21 Sept)

Ecological Consequences of Wildling (12, 13 July 2007)

Making wildland pay (12, 13 April 2007)

Events of other organisations in 2007

Wild - an elemental journey

The science underpinning the conservation of biodiversity (2 March 2007)

Wild land or rewilding? (21 March 2007)

Big Cats in Britain (23 - 25 March 2007)

Tools & Techniques for Pastoralism and Wild Lands (12-14 June 2007)

WN Events in 2006

Rewilding middle England (22 Nov, WN & LRWT)

Other WN events

Scary or What? (Re-introductions 8 Sept WN, BANC)

Oostvardersplassen (8-12 May WN)

Elmley Marshes (20 May BANC, WN)

Wildland in Wales (7/8 April WN)

Tir Gwyllt yng Nghymru (7fed ac 8fed Ebrill)

Events in 2006 of other organisations

Conservation on the Grand Scale (13 Oct-17 Nov)

Creating woodland for our future (17th - 8th Oct)

Beavers in Bavaria (24 – 27th Oct)

Invasion Ecology Of Mammals (24-25 Nov)

European Conference on Ecological Restoration (24-26 August)

Big cats and Britain’s ecology (9 Sept 2006)

Bringing back the Beaver (5 and 6 May)

The Journey for the Wild - John Muir Trust (Summer 2006)

British Big Cat Conference (24-26 March)

Zoological Society London

International workshop - Ecological Society of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (30 March-1 April)

Events in 2005

(WN) - write-ups of these are posted under Meeting Reports

Wild Boar (WN)

Wild Herbivores

Wild Ennerdale (WN)

World Wilderness Congress

GAP field trip

Leeds (WN)

The Wildland Network has been set up to further the concepts and development of wildland in Britain. A series of events are being organised and/or attended by members of the network to support this work. Forthcoming events are listed below. WN lists the events of other organisations when they are likely to have general interest within the membership.


Wild, free and coming back? (16-17 September 2008)
The return of key species to Scotland – what, where and how? 

A Wildland Network seminar in association with Trees for Life

A two day event with presentations, break-out groups, and discussion on proposals for ‘what, where and how?’ with optional meal and meet up eve before, and optional extra day visit to Alladale Wilderness on 18 September, Glen Affric on 19 September and Carrifran Wildwood Project on 20 September. Confirmed speakers include Roy Dennis, Alan Watson-Featherstone and Peter Cairns. Other attractions include:

  • Exhibition from Tooth and Claw present throughout the event
  • Smaller displays from other groups
  • Catering to include options of wild boar, and wild land harvest products
  • Story tellers
  • Films/ documentaries to be screened at lunch times and evenings include: "Return of the Prodigal Pig" by Wildwood Productions

Topics for talks include:

  • Lessons from previous reintroductions in Britain
  • Perceptions of predators
  • Looking back at Scotland and looking forward
  • Practical and tactical issues associated with: wild boar, beaver, lynx, wolf, brown bear, elk and other herbivores
  • Lessons from: Red kite and sea eagle

Break-out discussion topics:
(Delegates could participate in two during the two days).

  • Species specific discussions on: beaver, lynx, wolf, herbivores, birds
  • Perceptions of predators: understanding and addressing the different attitudes.
  • Incentives and disincentives: effects on income and livelihoods, tourism and game, prospects for communities and community buy-out groups to lead projects. Or these could be separated out – see examples below.
  • Nature conservation, but not as we know it – implications for Biodiversity Action Plans and targets.
  • Ecosystem restoration:  effects on ecosystems.
  • Tourism and visitor income – links and effects
  • Game issues – links and effects
  • Agriculture and forestry – links and effects
  • Specific break out groups on some of the species, addressing the issues of ’where’, ‘how’, and ‘with which groups?’
  • Others: some delegates could devise their own topic.

Full programme and booking form.

Living with Beavers and large Carnivores in Bavaria (16 – 21  September 2007)

 A study tour arranged by Derek Gow/Wild Europe for the Wildland Network.

The tour will be an opportunity to view practical management issues relating to beaver and large carnivores such as lynx, and to discuss the policy and management issues with practitioners. People from any interest and background are welcome to attend. Booking details below.

Day 1 – Arrive in Munich airport for transport to hotel. There will be two airport collections at midday and again at 4.30pm. Evening meal at 7pm followed by an introductory evening presentation on beaver and beaver management in Bavaria

 Day 2 – 8am breakfast followed by presentation on large carnivores, especially lynx and their management by the Bavarian large carnivore management coordinator. Thereafter an all day field visit to occupied lynx ranges in the Bavarian Nature Park. This day will be guided by the regions large carnivore co-ordinator incorporate meetings with hunters, foresters, deer farmers and nature conservation managers to discuss the impact of Lynx on their respective interests.

 Day 3 – 8am breakfast followed by all day visit to the Bavarian National Park and the bordering Sumava National Park in the Cezch republic. We will look at lynx landscape and the influence of natural processes (e.g. bark beetles) on ungulates as prey.  The day will conclude with a late afternoon visit to the Bavarian National Park centre for photographic opportunities of large carnivores and ungulates in semi-captivity. 

 Day 4 – 8am breakfast - moving out of first hotel- followed by a 9am start for an all day series of field visits to wild beaver sites along the Danube. This tour will run from the Bavarian Forest to Vohburg, looking at different sites along the road (e.g. Isarmündung, Oberalteich, Regensburg) with an evening Beaver watch in an Oxbow lake near Pförring. This day will cater for beaver ecology and associated field signs. It will incorporate visits to lodges on large rivers, lodges on small streams or lakes and beavers in urban areas. Return for evening meal at 10pm.

 Day 5 – 8am breakfast followed by a 9am start for field visits to agricultural impact areas and commercial forestry plantations. Demonstrations of mitigation solutions such as electric fencing, dam drainage, burrow infilling, trapping, relocation and transport. Visit to a beaver holding and transport facility at the HAUS-im-MOOS environmental education station and folk museum. Discussion and possible demonstration of humane culling techniques. There will be land use representatives for affected industries in attendance for parts of this day. Return for evening meal at 7.30pm.  

 Day 6 - 8am breakfast followed by breakfast followed by a 9am start for a morning tour with the water management authorities of Ingoldstadt for a demonstration of mitigation solutions for burrowing animals in flood defence structures. Return to airport for Midday departure.

Travel, accommodation and booking details

Unless otherwise announced all lunches will be packed in the field. The schedule can change due to weather conditions or actual beaver field problems. The total cost of the trip will be £515 per head. This sum is all inclusive of food accommodation, guides and transport. It does not include flights or alcoholic beverages.

Upon receipt could attendees please forward the balance due for the trip to Derek Gow, Moorview, Broadwoodwidger, Lifton, Devon, PL16 OJS. derekjgow@aol.comDerek Gow  01409 211249   derekjgow @ (please NOTE - remove spaces either side of @)

Invoices are possible by prior arrangement. We will be staying in a small family run guest house near Rhorstetten in the foothills of the Bavarian National Park for the first part of our tour before moving to the Guest House Stottner Brau in Vohburg for the latter part of the week.   There will be two uplifts for attendees from the airport at midday on Sunday and again in the late afternoon. Could all attendees please confirm flight arrival times for uplift and accommodation requirements – single or double rooms. Any dietary requirements should also be identified in advance. All attendees will require wet weather clothing, cameras and binoculars.

Ecological Consequences of Wildling (12, 13 July 2007)

What are the ecological consequences of wilding as a long term strategy?
Gregynog Hall, near Newtown
, Montgomeryshire

A one day conference of the British Ecological Society Conservation Ecology Group in association with the Wildland Network, Aberystwyth University and Ecology Matters. There will be field visits on the following day, 13 July.

The aim of the conference is to address one of the top 100 ecological questions of high policy relevance in the UK, as identified in recent research by the University of East Anglia. We hope to start answering the questions:

  • What does wilding actually mean in ecological terms?

  • What will it mean in terms of wildlife?

  • What research / monitoring do we need?

It has already sparked interest amongst some of the invited speakers such that new research may be triggered.

 Thursday 12 July Outline Agenda

Introduction – what is ‘wildling’ and questions to be addressed.

Large scale and network approaches to conservation – Frans Vera, Netherlands

Reintroducing a large carnivore – how much land do we need?  David Hetherington, Caringorms National Park.

Natural grazing as a management tool – Peter Dennis CIRRE, IRS, Aberystwyth.

Size and connectivity – modelling ecological needs – Chris Thomas. CIRRE, IRS, Aberystwyth

Re-instating ecological processes – Sarah Dalrymple, Aberdeen .

Plenary Discussion – have we got anywhere near answering the question? What further work is needed and other questions raised?

The outline agenda and booking form can be downloaded here (24kb PDF). A flyer for the meeting can be downloaded here (35kb PDF).

Making Wildland Pay (12, 13 April 2007)

Markets and enterprises from wild land and rewilding
Knepp Estate, Sussex

A one day workshop hosted by the Wildland Network with an optional tour of Knepp Estate on the following day at 10.00am - 12.45pm, 13 April

This event brings practitioners together to discuss:

  • Examples of markets and enterprises based on wild land.

  • Key options for new markets based on wild land.

  • How further wild land ventures can be stimulated and sustained.

Thursday 12 April program

10.00 Arrival, coffee

Welcome and introduction

10.40 Jason Emrich, Knepp Estate
Knepp Estate’s wild land project – the experience to date
11.00 Questions and discussion

11.10 Peter Taylor, Author, Beyond Conservation – A wildlands strategy
Wildland projects – a review of economic ventures from a sample of UK wildland projects, covering:
Wildlife tourism, Meat, Game, Ecosystem services, Crafts, Outdoor adventure, personal development.
Questions and discussion

11.40 Frans Vera, Dutch Forestry Service, and author, Grazing Ecology and Forest History - ‘Fascination Will Pay’: Economic benefits from the Dutch river floodplains and from visitors observing wild cattle, deer and horses at Oostvaardesrplassen.
12.00 Questions and discussion

12.10 Views from Forestry Commission and the Environment Agency
Alison Field – Examples and issues from the Forestry Commission’s experience in rewilding
Bill Watts, Environment Agency – Gauging the ecosystem services from flood defence activity

12.40 Questions and discussion with the Agencies

13.00 LUNCH

14.00 Discussion in small groups
Facilitated by Alison Parfitt and Rick Minter
Participants discuss the following issues in small groups:

A. The economic drivers for wild land: what are the priorities and how can they be sustained?

B. In what ways can wild land add value and offer a brand to farms, estates, nature reserves, forests and related ventures ?

C. How can Government bodies assist enterprises linked to wild land? e.g. through payments, advice, training, etc

D. Other discussion topics identified by participants

14.50 Report back and collective discussion on key issues

15.40 Reflections on the main discussion points – Will Manley, Royal Agricultural College

15.50 Tea

16.20–17.50 Optional guided walk through part of Knepp Estate. (Seeing a different location from the 13 April tour)

Friday 13 April: Tour of Knepp Estate, 10.00 – 15.00

This is a chance to experience the variety and the scale of the wild land work in progress at Knepp Estate and to discuss the emerging issues with other practitioners and with Estate owner Charlie Burrell and the Estate’s agent, Jason Emrich.

10.00 Assemble and coffee

10.15 Guided tour of the Knepp Estate wildland project

12.45 LUNCH

13.45 – 14.45 Reflections and discussion on key issues

14.45 – 15.00 Tea and depart

Cost per person


Thurs 12 April

Day workshop

Fri 13 April

Estate tour with lunch

£ Total for both days

Organisations, agencies




Charities & community groups








The FINAL PROGRAM can be downloaded here (13kb PDF). A BOOKING FORM can be downloaded here (9kb PDF). Please try to make use of the travelshare facility when you fill in the booking form. The current list of Travel share offers (to 4th April) can be downloaded here ( 5 kb PDF).

Events of Other Organisations

Wild: An Elemental Journey, with Jay Griffiths

The Gaia Foundation and The Wilderness Foundation are pleased to invite you to the book launch on Wednesday, 23 May 2007. Drinks and buffet at Gaia House, 18 Well Walk, London, NW3 from 6pm (Nearest tube Hampstead - Northern Line) A contribution of £7 will be appreciated

7.30 pm Talk and Discussion at Burgh House, New End Square, London NW3 (Opposite Gaia House)

Join us for the book launch of Wild: An Elemental Journey, with author Jay Griffiths. Recounting her extraordinary odyssey to the wildernesses of the world, she will describe her journeys among the Earth's indigenous peoples; meeting cannibals; drinking shamanic medicine with Amazonian healers; visiting sea gypsies and journeying to meet freedom fighters in West Papua.

Jay is keenly interested in indigenous thought. She challenges the intellectual apartheid of the dominant global culture arguing that wild land is intrinsic to the health of the human mind. Her story will also take us into the uncharted lands of the wild mind, exploring the words and meanings and ideas of the wild: her book, passionate, political and provocative, is a manifesto for the essential wildness of the human spirit.

Jay Griffiths is the author of Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time; for which she was named as the best new non-fiction writer in the USA, 2003.  Her writing has appeared in The London Review of Books, The Guardian,  The Ecologist, New Internationalist, Utne, and The Idler.

Signed copies of Wild will be available for purchase on the night.

RVSP to Lizzie Cooke on or telephone 020 7428 0055


Incorporating the Ecosystem Approach in the Conservation of Biodiversity (2 March 2007)

The science underpinning the conservation of biodiversity
Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

A one day meeting of the Action Plan & Science Group  of the Scottish Biodiversity Forum.


10.15: Welcome - Stephen Blackmore (RBGE)

10.30: Using the Ecosystem Approach to Enhance the BAP Process - Diana Mortimer (JNCC)

11.00: Valuing ecosystem services: the Millennium Assessment and economic valuation - Prashant Vaze (Defra)

11.30: Indicators in Support of an Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management - Simon Greenstreet (FRS)

12.00: Undesirable Disturbance and the Structure of Marine Phytoplankton Communities - Paul Tett (Heriott-Watt)

12.30-14.00: Lunch

14.00: Challenge of River Basin Planning in Flood Alleviation - Chris Spray (SEPA)

14.30: Biodiversity action for peatlands:the carbon implications - Clifton Bain (RSPB)

15.00: The Ecosystem Approach to Biological Conservation, with Special Reference to Plants - Alan Hamilton  (PlantLife)

15.30: Theory into practice: delivering the landscapes and ecosystems objective of the Scottish Biodiversity Strategy - Jonathan Hughes  (SWT)

16.00: Summing up - Ian Bainbridge (SEERAD)


The meeting fee (including refreshments and lunch) is £25.00, with a reduced rate for bone fide students, Senior Citizens and LBAP Officers of £10.00.

Posters are welcomed and will be displayed in the room where refreshments are served. If you have a poster for display, please indicate this when booking and provide a title so that this can be added to the final programme.

For more information and a booking form please contact Lesley Kirton  tel. 01224 498249)

Wild land or rewilding? (21 March 2007)

The National Trust for Scotland Visitor Centre, Glencoe

A one day meeting hosted by the National Trust for Scotland and Scottish National Heritage.

There are two key strands of wild land conservation in Scotland- the 'old' recreational / landscape one, founded on Percy Unna and a natural habitats management approach which is about restoration of quasi-natural habitats.

The seminar seeks to understand evolving thinking and explore the need for a common synthesis. It will address the problem of resolving recreation-and-landscape wild land approach with re-wilding restoration, reintroduction ... drawing the themes together, making common cause, raising the profile of wild land at a policy level.

The seminar will focus primarily on the uplands and woodlands and will explore the following:

  • What are the implications of current land use changes for wild land in all its facets?

  • What issues arise in trying to achieve a unified multi-dimensional approach to wild land?

  • What ways forward? Is continuing NGO land acquisition the main future route, or should we be looking for a public sector advocacy through NPPGs, National Parks etc ? Should we be pursuing statutory support for wild land protection?

  • Do we need to widen the focus away from mountain areas ? - for instance to wild coasts and islands?

Speakers include Bob Aitken, David Hetherington, John Mayhew, Alan Featherstione Watson, and from , SNH and JMT.

The course cost is £25, and early booking is recommended as numbers are limited to 50.

Abi Wylde
Education and Events Ranger
The National Trust for Scotland
Glencoe Visitor Centre
PH49 4HX

01855 812018

Big Cats in Britain (23 - 25 March 2007)

1st Annual Big Cat Conference
Dorchester Hotel, 273 - 277 Beverley Road, Kingston Upon Hull. HU5 2TH

It is over 40 years since the first spate of big cat sightings hit the headlines with the Surrey Puma, yet we are still no closer to solving the mystery. Experts from all over the country will be gathering to discuss if these cats really are all black leopards and other escaped and released exotics, hybrids, or a relic, indigenous species that we never knew existed alongside us, ever since the Ice Age.

The veteran big cat researcher Di Francis will be attending and speaking. She is currently working on her new book, Cat Country Revisited, a sequel to Cat Country published in 1983 which started many people on the trail, including conference organiser Mark Fraser. Other speakers include zoologist Chris Moiser, Jonathan Downes of the CFZ, police officers, South African trackers, scientists, witnesses etc. The event has a packed itinerary which also includes film shows, a raffle quiz, displays, stands and book stall.

Tickets for the full weekend are £20 - day tickets £14, tea & coffee included. Snacks and meals available at own cost at venue or immediately in the vicinity

Bookings & queries to Mark Fraser  01563 551710 – 07940 016972

For more information:

Abbreviated Conference Programme

Friday 23 March

18.30 Arrival at hotel bar
19:00 Welcome and introductions – Rick Minter
19:30  Big Cats in Britain
20:20 Retire to the bar.

Saturday 24 March

09:00  Registration & chance to view the displays
09:40  Welcome, introductionsIntroduction by Rick Minter – weekend’s itinerary
10:15  Big Cats in Britain film
11:10  Dorset’s big cats – Jonathan McGowan
12:00  Teeside’s big cats - Chris Hall
12:30  DNA and map plotting software - David Mitchell 
12.50 Audience comments on key points from the morning’s proceedings

13:00 LUNCH
Chance to view stalls and displays, make comments on comment board

14:00 Discussion Group Workshops – facilitated by Rick Minter
Participants discuss key topics in small groups, selecting one of the topics below:

A.  The big cat species, the breeding rates and population trends

B.  Out in the field – how to get more and better evidence

C.  What should be done about Britain’s big cats?

D.  Releases - what's going on?

14.45  Feedback from each group and collective discussion on main points which have emerged

15:30 TEA

16:00  Kellas cats and the British big cat - the connections, or lack of them. Di Francis
18: 00  Mystery big cats in Oz: Australian film show presented by Shaun Stevens
19:10 The great British Big Cat quiz

Delegates free time for meals etc. return to the bar and mingle

Sunday 25 March

09:00  Welcome, introductions, and key points from Saturday: Rick Minter
09:30:  The CFZ and big cats - Jonathan Downes
10:15   Witness and investigators forum - witnesses recount their big cat experiences - ask the investigator panel questions. (INVESTIGATORS PANEL: Alan White - Di Francis - Chris Moiser – Marcus Mathews - Frank Tunbridge – Jonathan Downes – Mark Fraser - Rob Cave - Shaun Stevens – Terry Dye – Oll Lewis - researchers from the audience are welcome to participate on the panel).
11:10   Morning break
11:30   Wiltshire Big Cat’s - Marcus Mathews: 
12:00   Living with big cats in Britain: implications and people's reactions – Rick Minter
12:40   Audience comments on key points from the morning’s proceedings

13.00  LUNCH

14:00  Big cats in South Wales - Oll Lewis
14:40  Devon & Somerset’s big cats – Chris Moiser
15:50  Break
16:10  The need for public awareness and action to secure hard evidence. Di Francis
17:00  BCIB achievement of the year award presented by Mark Fraser. Quiz & raffle results
17.10  Audience response to comments on comment board with Rick Minter
17.30  Tea and close

Tools and Techniques for Pastoralism and Wild Lands (12-14 June 2007)

FACT / GAP 2007 Conference, The University of Stirling, Scotland

The aim of the Conference is to broaden thinking and challenge dogma over land management practices that meet nature conservation objectives for individual nature reserves, farms and woods, as well as for whole landscapes. The following speakers will be giving presentations:
Dick Balharry (John Muir Trust) - keynote address, Ian Jardine (SNH), Derek Gow, Jonathan Spencer and Simon Weymouth (Forestry Commission), Mairi Stewart, Kathy Hodder (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), Ciaran Gannon (Natural England), Meg Pollock (SAC), Lucy Sumsion (FWAG), Prof. John Webster, David Parker (CCW), a speaker from Poland on the Bialowieza and beyond.

Day 1

Conference starts at 1 pm Tuesday 12th June.

Speakers from across the UK and the local area setting the scene.

Day 2

Field trips to local sites including Loch Katrine, Glen Finglas, Flanders Moss and Crianlarich. Keynote speech by Dick Balharry (Chair of John Muir Trust and a leading Scottish nature conservation land manager), ceilidh and formal dinner.

Day 3

Presentations from the field trips to Conference, Speakers from the UK and Europe summarise some of the future opportunities for innovation. The Conference closes at lunch time Thursday 14th June.

The cost of the Conference will be confirmed soon but it will be around £200-250. For further information or to provisionally book a place please contact Adam Cormack in the GAP office on 01636 670095, or email: