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Rewilding 5% of England could create 20,000 rural jobs

Rewilding 5% of England could create 20,000 rural jobs

Studies suggest that rewilding marginal land could improve employment without having any impact on traditional agricultural practices. Rewilding Britain believes that rewilding 5% of England could generate approximately 20,000 jobs in rural regions and increase employment rates by 50% compared to intensive farming techniques.

New opportunities in ecology, nature tourism, animal care and more specialist roles in species reintroduction could be some of the new positions developing based on the study by Rewilding Britain, along with the added benefits towards biodiversity and climate change.

The push to drive nature restoration on a larger scale across the UK has generated some concern about job losses within the agricultural community due to a belief this will lead to abandoning farmland and eliminating food production. Professor Alastair Driver, the director of Rewilding Britain, believes this isn’t necessarily the case. Their studies indicate that rewilding marginal land could increase employment and have no impact on traditional agricultural activities.

Driver believes we could see an approximate 50% increase in jobs compared to traditional intensive farming practices. 

While this sounds promising, Driver emphasises that this shift wouldn’t necessarily create a rewilding industrial revolution. However, just a handful of jobs in smaller rural communities is a significant change and lead to other opportunities in the surrounding areas.

The figures released by Rewilding Britain are based on a series of surveys across 27 rewilding sites, spanning nearly 30,000 hectares of marginal land incorporating estates, farms and conservation areas. Across all of the sites, positions in education, livestock management and restoration were developed, along with a surge in new volunteering opportunities.  

The charity has a target to rewild 5% of Britain and Driver believes that presently the nation is only scratching the surface regarding nature-based tourism. The charity believes that diversification will enhance resilience regarding trade deals, tariffs and the general future of farming. 

The data clearly shows that job numbers are increasing with further rewilding efforts. Many farmers have found inspiration from other individuals that have decided to rewild areas of their land.

Jake Fiennes, director of conservation at the Holkham estate in Norfolk and member of the East Anglia National Farmers Union, believe agriculture is facing a skills shortage. With more farmers continuing to wild their land, Fiennes believes agricultural education groups should take a leading role in this change.

Fiennes explains that we have reached a point of a green revolution within agriculture. At present, approximately 70% of our national landscape is farmed but Fiennes asks whether we could farm 50% of that in a way that is directly beneficial to the environment? The main challenge concerns the skill shortage and ensuring the next generation of farmers shift from productivity to a system that incorporates conservation and sustainability.

A representative of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs believes that rural communities play a vital role in contributing towards our economy and investing in the natural environment will generate more rural green jobs. The green recovery challenge fund at Defra is currently on track to reach its target of supporting 2,500 jobs, with funding allocated towards rewilding projects and other communities nationwide.

The organisation supports the development and enhancement of wilder landscapes as a wider part of their focus on natural recovery. Defra intends to continue supporting projects that provide environmental and economic benefits for our communities.

For the latest in Agriculture Jobs, Animal Jobs, Biodiversity Jobs, Climate Change Jobs, Countryside Jobs, Countryside Management Jobs, Ecology Jobs, Land Jobs, Land Management Jobs, Nature Conservation Jobs and Wildlife Conservation Jobs in the United Kingdom please visit – GreenJobs

For the latest in Agriculture Jobs, Animal Jobs, Biodiversity Jobs, Climate Change Jobs, Countryside Jobs, Countryside Management Jobs, Ecology Jobs, Land Jobs, Land Management Jobs, Nature Conservation Jobs and Wildlife Conservation Jobs in the Ireland please visit – GreenJobs Ireland

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