Packham Campaigns to ‘Rewild’ Royals’ Landholding

TV presenter Chris Packham called on the UK Royals to lead landowners into a new era of ‘rewilding’.

As part of the Wild Card rewilding campaign group, Mr Packham met with officials in the Crown estate to ask them to commit to fully rewilding up to 50% of their landholdings, and to consider to set up a panel of rewilding experts to advise them on how best to achieve this. In response, the Crown Estate agreed to consider these proposals and offered to meet again in 2022.

“I have been really encouraged by the openness of Crown Estates to consider our ambitious and concrete proposals to rewild up to 50% of their huge estates,” said Mr Packham. “After the dismal failure of COP26, we urgently need a great British landowner to take the lead and show leadership. I am hopeful that the Crown Estate will be the people to do so. . ”

The Royal Family is the UK’s largest landowner, with over 615,000 acres of British land and tidal flats in the Crown’s domain alone. While some royals have been strong advocates of climate change and biodiversity loss, Wild Card described much of the land inherited by today’s royals as “in disrepair. ecological “, by distinguishing the domain of the Duchy of Cornwall, property of Prince Charles. , for its average tree cover of just 6% compared to the EU average of 37%, and the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland, which is run as a sports estate, ‘removing the rare temperate rainforest that would grow there naturally ”.

Read more: New campaign targets ‘rapid renewal’ across Britain

A recent poll by 38 Degrees found that three-quarters (73%) of the general public would support rewilding the Royals, with just 5% opposing the idea.

38 Degrees activist Matt Richards said: “The general public has made their point very clear on this – 73% support the Royals rewilding their estates and over 100,000 have signed the petition calling on them to take action. measures to help tackle the climate crisis. It’s fantastic that the Crown Estate is starting to listen – now the Duchies of Cornwall and Lancaster need to step up.

Preliminary analyzes by Dr Steve Carver and Dr Jonathan Carruthers-Jones of the Wildland Research Institute suggest that some of the lands in the Crown domain have high potential for rewilding and, as such, may be of value for several species as well. being structurally important for the landscape. connectivity at local and national level. But the real value rewilding activists perceive in bringing the Royals on board would be the huge example the rest of the UK’s big landowners would set.

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