Divergent visions of wildness in a storied landscape: practices and discourses of rewilding in Scotland's wild places

Holly Deary, Charles R. Warren

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Citations (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    The public profile of rewilding has risen rapidly, and there is broad agreement within rewilding discourses about the desirability of enhancing naturalness and wildness. However, there are contrasting views about what such enhancement should comprise, both philosophically and practically. Here we investigate understandings and practices of rewilding amongst managers and owners of wild land in the Scottish uplands. The data, gathered in 2011-2013, comprise (i) semi-structured interviews with 20 stakeholders in the upland management sector, and (ii) an investigation, utilising the Delphi method, of the objectives and rationales of 17 upland estates engaged in rewilding. The results reveal some broad areas of consensus, but considerable divergence concerning the desired ends and means of rewilding, especially about (i) the place of people and cultural artefacts within wild land, and (ii) the relative merits of intervention and non-intervention. The paper presents a ‘many wilds’ synthesis of these contrasting perspectives in the form of a matrix with four interconnected axes (wild nature, wild places, wild experience and wildness), offering a way of conceptualising this plurality and of considering the conflicts which are the corollary of multiple goals for wild places.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)211-222
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Rural Studies
    Volume54
    Early online date12 Jul 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017

    Keywords

    • Rewilding
    • Scotland
    • Wild land

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