Trajectories of rewilding: a taxonomy of wildland management

Holly Deary, Charles R. Warren

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18 Citations (Scopus)
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Rewilding, though a young term, already has numerous meanings. We use Q-methodology to investigate understandings and practices of rewilding amongst managers of wildland on 17 estates in the Scottish uplands. The estates, covering 207,200 ha, include all the main land ownership types in Scotland. All respondents value wildness and biodiversity highly, but the Q-study reveals significant divergence in the interpretations and practices of rewilding, especially concerning (i) the value of naturalness, (ii) the use of management interventions, (iii) the value of cultural heritage and traditional land uses, and (iv) the place of people within wildland. A tripartite taxonomy of wildland management approaches is developed, identifying three ‘centres of gravity’ along the continuum of viewpoints, emphasising respectively nature’s autonomy, active restoration, and the maintainance of wildness within cultural landscapes. The taxonomy provides an analytic framework for evaluating the diverse and often conflicting aspirations for the management of wild places.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)466-491
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number3
Early online date19 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2019


  • Q-methodology
  • Rewilding
  • Scotland
  • Taxonomy
  • Wildland


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