Have you ever noticed how nature gradually returns and takes over a derelict building site, or empty building? Rewilding is concerned with returning and restoring areas of environmental neglect back to nature. It involves allowing nature to return in a controlled manner, undoing the damage to the environment caused by factories, houses, people or cars.
Rewilding is concerned with returning and restoring areas of environmental neglect back to nature. You will be responsible for allowing nature to return in a controlled manner, undoing the damage to the environment caused by factories, houses, people, cars, airports etc.
As a Rewilder, your aim will be to help create both resilient and vibrant landscapes that will help to restore the balance and protect our environmental future.
The projects you could be working on include:
- removing fences to restore flight paths for birds
- ripping up roads and planting trees in their place
- reintroducing native plant species
- reintroducing native animal species, such as wild boar, lynx, beaver
- promoting tree regeneration
- coastal habitat protection
- natural marsh creation
Most likely you will be brought in to work on one major rewilding project at a time. To begin, you will need to carefully plan what is going to be reintroduced and where. Working alongside a team of conservation, environmental and wildlife experts, you will design a landscape that will work in harmony with the existent or original environment.
This planning stage may involve carrying out a scientific study of species, to test their suitability for this project.
You will then need to supervise the work as it begins and monitor how the new environment is responding and growing - making changes if necessary. You will collect and analyse data from the new habitat, possibly by laying down sensors which are the size of seeds! Currently this technology is not widely available, but it soon will be. These tiny sensors can sit within the ecosytem and supply you with a level of data that was previously unavailable.
Technology and ecology will sit side-by-side in the future work of the Rewilder!
Personal Qualities and Skills
To become a Rewilder, you'll need:
- a passion for understanding and protecting the enviroment
- a strong interest and understanding of animals and plants
- organisational and planning skill
- to be patient, accurate and methodical in doing experiments.
- the ability to communicate with a wide range of people
- analytical and number skills for budgeting, price setting, buying and cost control
- the ability to manage a project
- willingness to keep up to date with new technology e.g. sensor technology
As a Rewilder you must be passionate about nature and have a desire to restore environmental harmony both in the countryside and within our cities.
Pay and Opportunities
The pay rates given below are approximate.
- Starting: £25,500 - £28,500
- With experience: £30,000 - £35,000
- Senior Rewilders earn £38,000 - £41,500
Where could I work?
Employers might include local authorities, horticultural contractors, large private estates, and organisations such as the National Trust.
Entry Routes and Training
It will be crucial to get as much experience as you can before applying for this career - and as this is a career of the future, you are in a great position to start thinking now about what you can do to get that experience.
Firstly, you will need to stay informed. Do some research and find out what rewilding and environmental projects are happening in your local area right now and other projects that are planned. Follow them on social media and stay in touch. Get in contact with them and arrange to pay them a visit - see what they do first hand.
Carry out your research - research the ecology of the species potentially being brought back, their specific habitat requirements, biology and any conflicts which arise and the possible solutions.
All of these things will impress any potential employers.
Qualification wise, entry at project management level will probably require a relevant degree, foundation degree or higher national qualification. See below for more details.
A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article '
An Advanced Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. Take a look at our information article
If you would like some training, BTEC offer a level 3 certificate in environmental sustainability. This course has a mixture of mandatory and optional units, which include:
- understanding the principles of sustainable development
- sustainable communities
- science for environmental technicians
- energy management
- the business environment
- using mathematical tools in science
- waste management
- understanding water quality
- pollution control and management
- sustainable construction
- urban environment
- geology of natural resources
- sustainable transport
- geospatial technology and sustainable development
Other courses could be available in your area.
Previous experience working as a Horticultural Supervisor/Worker would be really useful for this career.
To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.
For entry to a degree in ecology, the usual minimum requirement is:
- 2/3 A levels. Biology is usually essential, and you might also need another science subject, preferably chemistry. Geography and environmental studies can also be useful.
- GCSEs at grade C/4 or above in your A level subjects
- a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 and above, including English and maths
Alternatives to A levels include BTEC level 3 qualifications and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
Some BTEC qualifications include:
- level 2 - conservation and improvement of British habitat
- level 2 - ecological surveys and techniques
- level 2 - environmental and land-based business
- level 3 - wildlife and conservation
However, course requirements vary, so please check college/university websites very carefully.
Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.
It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.
Working as a horticultural supervisor/worker can lead into management-level posts.
If you don't have the qualifications you need to enter a degree, foundation degree or HND course, you might be able to start one after completing an Access course. You don't usually need any qualifications to start an Access course, although you should check individual course details.
You can search for relevant courses on the website of Lantra, the sector skills council for the land-based and environmental sector.
Skills for land-based and environmental industries
Address: Lantra House, Stoneleigh Park, Coventry, Warwickshire CV8 2LG
Tel: 02476 696996
Institute of Horticulture (IoH)
Tel: 01992 707025
Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)
Address: 80 Vincent Square, London SW1P 2PE
Tel: 0845 2605000