Rewilding: the left’s latest crazy, dangerous idea: how the new craze on the fundamentalist wing of the naturalist lobby could destroy the countryside

Rewilding: the left’s latest crazy, dangerous idea: how the new craze on the fundamentalist wing of the naturalist lobby could destroy the countryside, by Melissa Kite.

Sometimes an idea is so barmy that worrying about it ever becoming reality seems pointless. So when the Labour MP Andy Slaughter asked the Environment Secretary a few weeks ago about re-introducing lynx to the English countryside, the instinctive reaction of all those listening must have been, ‘Yeah, right! Good one!’

In fact, the basis of Mr Slaughter’s inquiry was a concept known as ‘rewilding’, which is fast becoming the new obsession of the left and the avowed intent of the more fundamentalist members of the naturalist lobby. Not content with banning hunting and allowing foxes to wreak havoc, these radicals now want to replace traditional land management by farmers and gamekeepers with a form of natural anarchy in which every kind of beast roams our green and pleasant land, ripping other animals, and possibly humans, to shreds. And in the latest attempt to get this preposterous conceit off the drawing board and into government policy, its devotees have begun pushing for the return of lynxes and wolves.

 European grey wolf, Prague zoo.

Lynxes were wiped out in Britain in the seventh century … They are the third largest predator in Europe and classified as animals of ‘least concern’ conservation-wise. They wander the forests of Russia and in Finland their population is larger than ever. …

[T]he last wolf in the UK was shot in the 17th century, and those with good mental health might say, ‘Thank God for that.’ But no, let’s reintroduce them to the Scottish Highlands: ‘Wolves, lynx and other magnificent species would revitalise our living systems and enrich our lives,’ gushes Chris Packham, of BBC2’s Springwatch, on the Rewilding Britain website. (The BBC absolutely loves rewilding, of course, and sends a camera crew to interview whichever loon is standing on a moor advocating the introduction of ravening beasts.)

hat-tip Stephen Neil