WildEast, a new charitable foundation launched by East Anglia-based farmers, is aiming to return 250,000 hectares of the east of England region to nature over the next 50 years.
The foundation aims to reintroduce several key species to the region including lynx, pelicans and beavers; champion regenerative farming to restore soil health; work with local schools to teach children about the importance of biodiversity, farming and wildlife; and create an accreditation system to boost wildlife-friendly farmers.
The WildEast foundation is the brainchild of three farmers – Hugh Somerleyton, Argus Hardy and Olly Birkbeck – who want people in East Anglia to create space for nature.
WildEast said: “From urban pathways to village greens, beautiful churchyards, strips alongside the edges of farmers’ fields, designated portions of new developments, and even those unused scraps of land hidden away behind the garden shed, every metre and acre donated can help bring our Map of Dreams to life.
“The WildEast mission is to help restore the natural ecological conditions that are most important for maintaining a fully functioning, self-sustaining ecosystem rich with the natural diversity our region used to support. As has always been the case, humans will be the dominant factor in our ecosystem but we dare to dream our role will to be to restore and protect rather than to diminish and destroy.”
In addition to returning 20% of acquired East Anglian land, back to nature, WildEast also propose a “shift away from a cheap often low quality meat diet towards a more eco-restorative highwelfare replacement”.
Argus Hardy told The Guardian: “There’s a lot of blame put on farmers. They are seen as the people who need to make the change. WildEast is about broadening the focus – it’s about all of us, our gardens, how people are eating, what people are eating, and local food markets.”
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.