Why are Britain’s conservation groups so lacking in ambition?

This was the headline for a recent article from 18th October in the Guardian by George Monbiot, in his continuing analysis of the fault lines in British nature conservation that he first revealed in his book Feral published in May this year. After a brief review of the history of extinction of key species in Britain,  Monbiot turned his attention to the uplands where he concluded that the entire basis of conservation was a misconception: that in keeping them open and largely devoid of trees, they are best protecting wildlife. This belief, he asserted is largely unexamined by the groups that propounded it, and was diametrically wrong. He believed that this explains why many upland reserves are “about as biodiverse and ecologically inspiring as the average car park”

He then pointed to a presentation that WRi member Mark Fisher had given at the European Wilderness Days conference in Finland last year, entitled A review of naturalistic grazing versus natural processes. Monbiot described this presentation as a  “devastating set of slides”  that gave evidence on the “British conservationists’ obsession with keeping habitats open”

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