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)


Mark Fisher in Canadian TV documentary: WRi Research Fellow Mark Fisher is interviewed and appears in popular Canadian TV documentary “The Nature of Things” talking about rewilding. This can be watched on YouTube.

Mapping the spread of wind farms across Scotland: A new animation showing the visual impact from industrial wind energy developments across Scotland from 1995 to 2015 has been developed by WRi with the John Muir Trust. This is now available here.

Mapping opportunities for rewilding: Steve Carver talks about mapping wild land and opportunities and barriers to rewilding in the November 2015 “Rewilding Week” Special Issue of the Geographical Magazine. Linked to this, Steve was a panel member in the RGS debate “Who’s bright and sunlit uplands?” as part of the Mountain Arts Festival in November 2015 at the Rheged Centre in Cumbria ably supported by Sir Martin Holdgate and Dr Ian Convery. [addendum: this meeting and the recent flooding gave me cause to dig out an old article written for Friends of the Lake District Magazine in 2000 during the FMD crisis, much of which is still relevant today… read it here.]

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 England and Wales.
  • The value of tribal engagement for monitoring the effects of fire and fuels management on culturally significant plants of the Colville National Forest, Northeast Washington.
  • Animation of spread of wind farms and their visual impact across Scotland. See animation here.
  • A review of the socio-economic and environmental benefits of wildland in Scotland (with partners in SRUC and CMC, Scotland).

Latest publication: Deary, H., & Tin, T. (2015). Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties’ engagement in wilderness protection at home and in Antarctica. The Polar Journal, (ahead-of-print), 1-33. DOI:10.1080/2154896X.2015.1068537

Quote of the week: “The continued existence of wildlife and wilderness is important to the quality of life of humans.”  Jim Fowler.