Wildlands and biodiversity

Biodiversity is fundamental to our survival. Every living thing has a place in what we call the 'balance of nature', and upsetting that balance can have untold effects. Biodiversity is the source of many ecosystem goods (such as food and genetic resources), and changes in biodiversity can influence the supply of ecosystem services.

A vast array of definitions exists to define UK wildlands, however many definitions remain anchored by more indepth definitions from North America, which inarguably has some of the wilder landscapes in the world (see The Wilderness Act - 1964, USA for a comprehensive definition). Permaculturists recognise care for surviving natural assemblies as an essential for supporting and renewing the cultivated ecology of human use. There is also a commitment to rehabilitate degraded land using multifunctional pioneer species and long term-plant assemblies, and to create around them a complex environment that includes elements of land gifted back to wild nature.

Many local UK projects and initiatives have taken on wild land values. The Wildlife Network proposes that in order for new major areas of wildlands to grow wildland needs to: be free of human interference (and managed with minmal intervention), be free of economic exploitation such as grazing or forestry ( but can support sensitive eco-tourist facilities at the boundary), have natural processes restored on a sufficient scale as to be meaningful (including wild herbivores and predators) and it must have a sense of remoteness and risk.