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. 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


WRi partners with European Wilderness Society: Former PAN Parks Leaders have set up the European Wilderness Society to continue their valuable work spearheading the protection of wilderness in Europe and safeguard those areas which have escaped development. Read more about the EWS here. WRi and EWS are looking at ways to cement the partnership, underpinning wilderness protection in Europe with good science and ethical approaches.

New team memberFernando Sanchez Trigueros joins WRi and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute to work on Traditional Phenological Knowledge project funded by the US Forest Service.

WRi successful in having a Resolution on a Wilderness Convention for Europe added to the World Wilderness Congress list – read about the proposal here.

Support for Scottish wild land map: based on WRi methods and approaches to wildness mapping, a debate in the Scottish Parliament has expressed cross-party support for SNH’s Phase III wild land map – read more here.

Ongoing projects:

  • Developing the EU’s new Wilderness Register (with partners Alterra and PanParks)
  • Developing web-based participatory mapping tools for landscape evaluation (with partners Leopold Institute, Missoula, Montana)
  • Various wildness mapping studies for clients including the Scottish national parks, the John Muir Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage and US National Parks Service.

Latest publication: Carver, S., Tricker, J., & Landres, P. (2013). Keeping it wild: Mapping wilderness character in the United States. Journal of Environmental Management, 131, 239-255. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.08.046

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