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.

In this category...

Permaculture Zone 5

The principle of zoning in permaculture is that whatever is in most need of human attention should be placed closest to the centre of human activity. The furthest zone is ‘zone 5’. It is the wilderness... ie.

Wildlife strategies

Sustainable systems should incorporate features that create a range of benefits, including for wildlife.

A bumblebee and a small monarch butterfly on an allium flowerhead

Attracting pollinators

Pollinators are vital for growing crops and there are many different ways to attract beneficial insects to your plot.

Water lilies on a pond

Creating wildlife habitats

In general, the less disturbed an area is, i.e. the more “wild” it is. Wilder areas tend to have greater plant and animal diversity, particularly of native species.

Related resources...

Publications
ARTICLE: Ecosystem services of allotment and community gardens: a Leipzig, Germany case study
REPORT : Global guidelines for the restoration of degraded forests and landscapes in drylands Global guidelines for the restoration of degraded forests and landscapes in drylands
JOURNAL ARTICLE : Wildlife-friendly farming increases crop yield: evidence for ecological intensification - The Royal Society
JOURNAL ARTICLE : Psychological benefits of greenspace increase with biodiversity
JOURNAL ARTICLE : Biodiversity Loss Threatens Human Well-Being
A Buzz in the Meadow
REPORT : An overview of the environmental risks posed by neonicotinoid insecticides
REPORT : Neonicotinoid Pesticide Reduces Bumble Bee Colony Growth and Queen Production
JOURNAL ARTICLE : Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity
Websites
Article: What is biodiversity and why does it matter to us? theguardian.com
Ecosystem Restoration Communities
Global Database on Sustainable Land Management - WOCAT
CASE STUDY: Tamera water retention landscape to restore the water cycle and reduce vulnerability to droughts (2015) - Climate ADAPT
Soilscapes by Landis - Soil Map for England & Wales
Soil, yield, and biodiversity tests project
ARTICLE : Agroecology: The Capitalist Elephant in the Room
ARTICLE : Nature, biodiversity and human health: how strong is the evidence? British Ecological Society
European Environment Agency Biodiversity Homepage
The Wildland Network
Organisations
Ecosystem Restoration Camps Foundation
Forestry Commission UK
Bristol Natural History Consortium
European Centre for Nature Conservation
British Ecological Society
The Goulson Lab - Bumblebee Ecology and Conservation
European Environment Agency
The Woodland Trust
The Wildland Network
Videos
The Value of Soil - Bonn Perspectives
IPCUK 2015 “Rethinking money” International Permaculture Conference
Forest Man
Commonland - 4 returns from landscape restoration
"The Healing of the Earth" NIOO Seminar: John D. Liu
Biological Diversity and Public Health: a Slideshow by Aaron Bernstein
How to create a wildflower meadow in 5 mins
The Bumblebee Professor - Why insects are important
Why is biodiversity so important? - Kim Preshoff
What is 'biodiversity', and why do we need it?