What is ‘wilderculture?’
Wilderculture is new and it’s different. It’s not just conservation, it’s not just farming, it’s not just wild game management and it’s not just rewilding; it’s completely and utterly all of it; an integrated approach which includes YOU in this mix too.
It’s land management in a superman outfit!
Conventional conservation and farming both involve managing an ecosystem to ‘hold’ it in a state, preventing its natural succession towards woodland in order to promote the species they want. Conservationist usually prefer a wildlife species or habitat, and farmers prefer livestock or crops. Farmers sell their ‘species’ for money, and conservationists mostly fund their work through donations. Unlike a machine with cogs and wheels that can be replaced when they break, an ecosystem is self-organising and complex so holding natural processes back takes a lot of energy in the form of money or management and more often than not doesn’t do what we expect!
The superpower of Wilderculture is holistic management. Please don’t think ‘hippies and crystals!’ Holistic management is a highly practical systems management framework developed for working with complexity – you know like dynamic ecosystems and people who won’t fit into our plans! It’s a set of tools, planning processes and systems that help us make great decisions that keep us on track. Most decisions we make these days tend to be in response to a problem and rarely address the root cause, this is how we often wind up with results we didn’t plan.
Holistic management helps guide us when we’re making a decision and makes us think about; the people who are involved or affected by a decision; the impact long and short term on the land and ecosystem; and if or how the project is going to make money. You’d be surprised how rare it is to fully account for this ‘triple bottom line.’
Creating a pristine rewilded landscape is great but if it means falling out with local farmers, game Estates and communities or it can’t be funded without donations then it’s not a truly sustainable plan. Often the environmental benefits are poor and frustrating too, with slow tree growth and rank grassland in the absence of the large predators influencing the behaviour of wild herbivores and livestock– even small numbers of deer or sheep can prevent a natural rewilding.
Holistic management, the latest soil science and a range of tried and tested tools and techniques bring together a unique approach for building an enormous ecological bank account that can pay out huge biological interest. We focus on improving the water cycle, energy flow, community dynamics and mineral cycling of the ecosystem instead of ‘micro managing’ a species or habitat.
Where important ecosystem functions like ‘herd effect’, carcass decay and shrub browsing aren’t happening, we step in and mimic that behaviour. This could be herding a group of hardy cattle into deep rank grassland areas, using microbial inoculants to prepare the soils for tree regeneration or accelerating succession, using hardy ponies for bracken bashing and regenerative grazing, or uplifting minerals to kick start proper cycling again.
We’re experts in mimicking natural grazing systems and understand the destructive effects of grazing herbivores in a world without predators; our holistic planned grazing systems are designed to reconstruct the effects of multi species grazers in fear of attack – but in a kinder way, that happens to produce loads of nourishing food and dramatically increases wildlife too.
We’ve many tricks and tools up our superwild sleeves.
We need to take back our place in the wild too. Not by drinking tea from pretty pottery and watching the ‘wild’ through a glass panel in a tea room. But by getting into these natural spaces either appreciating them and detoxing from the modern world or by getting dirty to build a healthier planet. We think all people should know what it’s really like to step outside into a pitch dark cold night, under more stars than imaginable, to hear the roar of a red deer and the splash of an otter feeding on the shore with the background sound of utter silence.
Visit our dedicated site HERE
Please get in touch to discuss your ideas if you think a Wilderculture approach would benefit and suit your land holding.