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I am currently trying to buy a few acres of land. It's currently grazing land, but I'd like to rewild most of it. By any chance, can someone suggest a good source for learning how to do so in a way that encourages insect, bee, and bird populations? It's near a bog so I'm hoping it can have a bigger impact than it would in isolation.

You can go as deep as you want, but the basic checklist could be (for case when you don't want to have productive farm land):

- make sure there is some type of water on your property, shallow pond would be ok

- build different biotopes: leave some pasture area, plant patches of different bushes.

- plant some fruit trees and few solitair trees (depending on your geography it might be oak, linden or whatever. Ask at your garden center)

- build/buy and place different insect hotels in various parts of property

- when mowing the grass always leave some part (say 1/3) intact

- I am not familiar with situation in US, but in Europe you can find mixes of wild species seedings for given geography. You can use those to speed up biodiversity growth in the area.

Thanks! As it turns out I went sale agreed about 30 minutes after my comment.

It's in the Irish midlands and I'll be living there as well in a 210ish year old cottage, which will certainly be a shift. For dealing with the grass I had some idea that sheep might be friendlier than mowing, but sheep also tend to destroy everything in their path and stop seedlings.

I was thinking I might try to grow food in this model - http://www.themarketgardener.com/book/ - but that would be on less than half the space.

Clearly I have lots of research to do.

May I recommend "Practical Self Sufficiency"? A few years ago they even made a British TV-series "It's not easy (being green)": https://www.amazon.co.uk/Practical-Self-Sufficiency-Complete...

The British TV-series that came to mind for me was "The Good Life" ("Good Neighbors" in the US). Wouldn't be much practical help however.

Given your location, this might be of some peripheral interest...

"Restoring the ancient Caledonian Forest Alan Watson Featherstone TEDxFindhorn"


Yes, good catch, grazing from sheep & such are a big part of why the british isles have lost much of their forest.

... oh and welcome to the club.

For more inspiration you can listen to the Tim Ferriss podcast with Jason Fried (CEO of Basecamp)[1] somwhere at the end of the pocast he is talking his hobby of restoring prairie.


You want to look into permaculture. You should check to see if there's any permaculture groups in your area. They will have the best localized experience and will be a huge help.

I don't know where you live but the USFS has guides on the native species of plants that live in various parts of the US.



Edit: fixed the links

Both of those links are broken for me.

Fixed, sorry.

Check out this farm in the UK. https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding/rewilding-proj...

This is a great book wrote for the british isles, the design principles it covers would be very useful in a rewilding project https://www.amazon.co.uk/Earth-Care-Manual-Permaculture-Temp...

And this is a great book if you want to farm sustainably https://www.amazon.co.uk/Growing-Green-Organic-Techniques-Su...

The more I learn about the Anthropocene (aka a global ecological collapse in the making), the more I think it's critical to reduce human footprint. I might consider buying some land (in France) and let nature does it thing. Would that make sense? I wouldn't be able to manage it, does anyone know if there's an organization that could manage the project for me? Perhaps a NGO to which I could donate the land, actually, with the promise to maximize its usefulness not for humans but for the biosphere as a whole?

There are many local land trusts that you can donate to. My father and a local group in Ohio have protected a large amount of land over the last 10 years.

Google for land trusts in your area.

This is a truly awesome project! (It's just a few miles from where I live.)

Nature Conservancy in North America, you can try Rewilding Europe in the EU.

I think you should look up Shubhendu Sharma. He is growing forests in 10 years.

That’s awesome! Consider putting a conservation easement on the land so future owners also can’t develop it. https://www.google.com/search?q=conservation%20easement

I'm curious what that does to the value of the land. I'd guess it drops it dramatically; the bit of information I found sidestepped answering that question, just mentioning that you'd pay much lower taxes... which I suppose is a roundabout way of saying yes, it kills the value.

That may not be a bad thing, of course. But definitely something to keep in consideration.

Thanks - though that appears to be a US concept? This is in Ireland and tbh its location makes development in the near future unlikely, though it's actually pretty close to rail...

Given that there's a thatched cottage from ~1800 on the land it's already subject to a fair number of restrictions, incidentally, though those are all related to heritage.

If you are in California try rbennaton@ucanr.edu

Generally, Mother Earth News is decent.

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