Welcome to the WRi

The Wildland Research Institute (WRi) aims to identify and elucidate the requirements, strategies and policies for a transition to a greater presence of wild landscapes within the wider land use continuum of Britain and Europe (click here). The broad activities of the Institute combine social and natural sciences, as well as the arts and literary world, in leading-edge, interdisciplinary research. Our main research areas and expertise include:

  • Mapping and modelling wildness attributes and wilderness quality
  • Landscape evaluation
  • Re-wilding and habitat restoration
  • Policy analysis and advice
  • Tracking developments in European wilderness protection (click here)


A Vision for a Wilder Europe: An updated second edition of the Vision for a Wilder Europe (2015) document is now available here.

WRi partners with European Wilderness Society: WRi attended the EWS’ European Wilderness Academy in Mittersill, Austria 1-4th October. A letter arising from the EWA and signed by delegates is being sent to the IUCN World Parks Congress in Syndey calling for the congress to recognise the importance of wilderness in Europe and leave more wilderness for future generations. To read the letter click here. The EWS have published a new European Wilderness Quality Standard and Audit System. This is a standardized and applicable wilderness standard that serves as a basis for effective wilderness protection, designation, restoration, and promotion initiatives across a range of geographic and cultural circumstances in all European Countries. The standards can be accessed here.

European Wilderness Register published: A new European Wilderness Register and Mapping Indicator has been published. The work carried out by WRi with partners Alterra and EWS was funded by the EEA/EU. The report is available online here.

Scottish wild land Policy: based on WRi methods and approaches to wildness mapping, wild land and a new wild land map developed by SNH has made it in to the final version of the Scottish National Planning Framework – see here for more details.

Ongoing projects:

  • Developing the EU’s new Wilderness Register (with partners Alterra and EWS)
  • Developing web-based participatory mapping tools for visitor experience in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska (with partners Leopold Institute, Missoula, Montana)
  • Mapping wildlife corridors using GIS and participatory methods in La Primavera Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. See video here
  • Mapping wildness in Wales

Latest publication: Carver, S. (2014) Making real space for nature: a continuum approach to UK conservation. ECOS 35(3/4) 4-14. The paper can be downloaded here.

Quote of the week: “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” Edward Abbey