Rewilding Dorset Meeting


A one-day discussion meeting to explore the application of rewilding concepts to Dorset.

Date: Thursday 5th May

Meeting commences: 10:00 am

Meeting finishes: 5.30 pm

Venue: Charlton Down Village Hall, near Dorchester, Dorset. DT2 9UA

In recent years, rewilding has become a major theme in conservation, stimulated by publications such as George Monbiot’s Feral and the launch of rewilding organisations both in the UK and at the European scale. While a number of rewilding initiatives have been launched in the UK, most of these are predominantly located in upland areas in the north and west of the country. Elsewhere in Europe, many rewilding initiatives are seeking to encourage ecological recovery on agricultural land that has been abandoned. This raises the question of whether rewilding concepts are applicable to intensive agricultural landscapes such as Dorset, and if so, how they might best be implemented.

The aim of this meeting is to examine concept of rewilding: how it is defined, which approaches can be used, and whether such concepts and approaches might be relevant to Dorset.

We are delighted to be able to welcome a number of speakers who will present at the meeting, including leading researchers with expertise in rewilding, and practitioners with experience in implementing rewilding projects. The meeting will also involve representatives from a number of conservation organisations in Dorset, who will be invited to share their perspectives on rewilding. We hope to provide an opportunity to learn about what rewilding entails and to examine its strengths and weaknesses as a concept, and also to discuss its potential application in Dorset.


  • Dr Paul Jepson, Oxford University – “Rewilding policy: risk and opportunities”
  • Dr Christopher Sandom, University of Sussex – “Putting rewilding into practice”
  • Dr Matthew Heard, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology – “Ecological impacts of rewilding using extensive grazing: the case of Knepp Estate”
  • Fiona Bowles, Poole Harbour Catchment Initiative – “Is there space for Dorset Rivers to run wild?”
  • Helen Meech, Rewilding Britain – “Why Rewild Britain?”
  • Professor Richard Brazier, Exeter University – “Quantifying the ecohydrological impacts
  • of reintroducing Eurasian Beaver to intensively managed, lowland agricultural landscapes”
  • Alison Turnock, Dorset AONB – “The Wild Purbeck Nature Improvement Area – towards bigger, better, more, joined”


It is essential you book a ticket if you wish to attend, please visit:

For all enquiries email Arjan Gosal (

Photo credit:

European beaver (Castor fiber) by Per Harald Olsen/ NTNU (CC BY)