rewilding

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boatman

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 20, 2007
2,444
4
73
Cornwall
Probably impossible to reconcile the introduction of wolves and bears with the access rights of walkers. Of course, if accepted it would enable large estates to re-establish themselves as private but I am sure that is not the motive.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,227
1,462
S. Lanarkshire
This fellow again :rolleyes:

Basically he wants to have the biggest zoo in Europe stretching right across his estate. Thing is though, he's trying to introduce species (has done) that were already on a sticky wicket here anyway.
Reindeer are sub arctic tundra grazers.....that's an incredibly small area of our island homes, and it's not empty. There is no evidence for reindeer here after the landbridge was finally inundated. That's 10,000 years.

Wolves need prey animals; yes there are deer, but those deer come down out of the hills and forage on moorlands and closer to people occupying farmlands in Winter. Yeah, we really want wolves on the doorstep.....especially since those upland farmlands and moorlands are again, not empty. They're used for grazing sheep (and cattle) and for rearing grouse and pheasant for the shooting.
Bears ? oh dearie me, he really is trying. Bears need both protein (fish....try fighting off a bear for your salmon anyone ? that's going to go down well on those really expensive salmon beats, and there simply aren't the number of fish anymore that once swarmed up the rivers, though our local one is greatly improved.....pity about the half million folks that live along the banks though.) presumably they'd go for the usual worms and insects too, much as the fox does, and fruits.....if there were that many fruits in a small area, someone would be profiting already though; there's a reason we grow in farms. Other than that, the highlands aren't hotching with rabbits (can bears catch rabbits ? or hares, though they are there. So it's back to the deer......which can run very fast and can smell bear and wolves too.)
Which leads to the crucial question of sustainable population for healthy genetic diversity. Just how many bears and wolves are we talking here ? because in a wolf pack the Alpha pair breed, and it can rapidly become inbred. Bears breed relatively slowly, but they need partners, they need range.

The last wolf was shot in Scotland around the time of the last Jacobite uprising, the last bear a while before. The human population has grown in that period from 1.25million to 5.25million.

If the man so wants his estate full of wolves and bears then he'd be best selling up and moving to a country that already has some population of them and which isn't a restricted island landmass.

Toddy
 
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Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,004
441
Lancashire
+1 on above post.

It's all rosy if you listen to Lister or Monbiot but UK is not like the other rewilding experiments with keystone species. We're an island, a small one at that. Europe has allows for wide movement of animals. That wolf found in the Netherlands for example. Put wolves in Sutherland you'll get them further south at some point.
Reintroduce what can be managed or what doesn't tend to move far.
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,516
365
Mercia
I wish we could do it. I wish I lived in a country with that much space.

We can't and I don't
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,004
441
Lancashire
Lister just wants a zoo. Make his estate a pseudo-natural zoo for high fee paying members of the public. He can do that now if he wants, just get planning permission and sort out access which will always be a problem for his idea.
Just don't call it re-wielding or conservation. It's a venture that's speculative at best. He's souring the idea of re-wielding IMHO and should never be mentioned in such a discussion, not even by sloppy journalists!
 

Swallow

Native
May 27, 2011
1,543
2
London
The population density shift of the UK if Scotland split off, caught my eye last week.

England

Population
-2011 census53,012,456
-Density407/km[SUP]2[/SUP]
1,054.1/sq mi

That puts England on the 30th Most Densely populated country in the world out of 242. And over half those 30 are little islands.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_and_dependent_territories_by_population_density

China is down round 80th place

Population
-2012 estimate1,350,695,000[SUP][8][/SUP] (1st)
-2010 census1,339,724,852[SUP][9][/SUP] (1st)
-Density2011 estimate:[SUP][10][/SUP] 144/km[SUP]2[/SUP] (83rd)
373/sq mi
 
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Doc

Need to contact Admin...
Nov 29, 2003
2,109
10
Perthshire
The Alladale 'rewilding' is not what most people understand by the term.

There is, however, a strong case for reintroduction of Eurasian Lynx, and possibly the wolf to Scotland.

At the moment we have a serious problem of too many deer preventing native woodland regeneration. A lot of the concerns people have about reintroduction of wolves and lynx are gut-based not evidence-based. Countries that actually have wolves (much of Europe) are not nearly so panic stricken about them. As George Monbiot said, you are more likely to be struck by lightning, or killed by wearing the wrong kind of bedroom slippers, than to be injured by a wolf.

Where reintroduction of wolves has occurred, the ecological benefits have been very marked - the so called 'trophic cascade'.
 
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Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,227
1,462
S. Lanarkshire
Europe is a continent though; we are islanders.
In June 2013 the sheep population was 6.57 million on around 14,800 farms in Scotland. (from the gov. website)
Tell me honestly, deer or sheep and lambs.....which do you think the wolves are going to prefer taking ? and in Winter and Spring the sheep are brought down from the highest lands and kept closer to the farm.

Lynx, again, what's it going to eat ?

It's not a human fear of attack, but a very, very real concern to farmers, and to the people who live near those areas. Foxes already take pets; I'd need a fair bit of reassurance that wolves and lynx wouldn't given the chance.

They're stuck, stranded, on a cut off limited and overpopulated, and well used even if it does look empty, land here.

When our population was a quarter of the present, our ancestors wiped them out. Maybe they had good reason ? Maybe it's as you said and that it was gut based ?

Yet, wildcats struggle, pine martens struggle, how the hang is something any bigger going to manage ? How many would it need for their population to thrive healthily ?

I'm all for rich biodiversity, but I think that the idea that the wolves would solve the deer problems is onto a hiding to nothing tbh. If there's easier prey, they'll take it.

I reckon this fellow just wants a way of keeping folks off his land in a country with the responsible right of access written into the laws.

We'll see, but I'm not holding my breath.

M
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,227
1,462
S. Lanarkshire
Aye, maybe :) though those are usually found in urban situations and farms where there's ample mice for them.

Been looking at the statistics for sheep worrying and in 2012 there were 110 reported (that's the ones that were reported mind, I know farmers who don't) incidences in Scotland.

http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/livestock/sheep-worrying-how-the-picture-looked-in-2011/45591.article

I reckon they should do away with the game dealers regulations and allow folks to hunt the deer for their own consumption.
Free meat ? ah but that'll hurt all those folks employed on the estates as well as the game dealers.
No easy answer.
Venison killed and quickly prepped and not hung until it's going 'gamey' is very palatable to most people. Gamey meat is an acquired taste that puts many off.
My friendly neighbourhood poacher makes Lorne sausage with it :)

M
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,516
365
Mercia
I reckon they should do away with the game dealers regulations and allow folks to hunt the deer for their own consumption.
M
Game dealer regs don't apply for own consumption.

However for most thats one deer a year and put the rifle away because they don't have the clean room butchery facilities to pass the deer on to others - even by giving a butchered joint to the needy they break the law.

Silly liitle laws passed by petty little people. It means I can no longer legally give rabbits and pigeons to pensioners.
 

Limaed

Full Member
Apr 11, 2006
1,208
32
44
Perth & Anglesey
I reckon this fellow just wants a way of keeping folks off his land in a country with the responsible right of access written into the laws.
You could be right, I've done a few hills in the Allandale Estate & large sections of it are fenced off as part of the rewilding enclosure. You can't access this area although to be fair the hills are still accessible.

I think Scotland would benefit from a big debate about wild land use, considering everything from power generation to deer management. We have some amazing places here but the pressure on the environment is ever increasing.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,227
1,462
S. Lanarkshire
Game dealer regs don't apply for own consumption.

However for most thats one deer a year and put the rifle away because they don't have the clean room butchery facilities to pass the deer on to others - even by giving a butchered joint to the needy they break the law.

Silly liitle laws passed by petty little people. It means I can no longer legally give rabbits and pigeons to pensioners.
Aye, it's not for the pot in the UK, it's for the sport.....:rolleyes:

Well, fun's fun, but the hell with nonsense.

Rabbits and pigeons are good food. So is venison, and there's no shortage of any of those.....and we have food kitchen's now in this country. That's a national disgrace.

M
 

British Red

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Dec 30, 2005
25,516
365
Mercia
Nope, but mess up once and they take your FAC / SGC away. So people won't chance it.

My belief is there should be regulations if the stuff is for commercial resale - but not if I choose to give it away.
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,227
1,462
S. Lanarkshire
Does that include if you cooked it into something else first ?
Game pies come to mind, and things like bridies and pasties too. It curries well, and it makes excellent stew....and since you do it properly with the pressure canning, it's a good meal in a jar.

M