True wilderness IS A LAND THAT HAS SUPREME NATURALNESS AND IS FREE OF ANY HUMAN CONTROL
It is a self-willed land because plants and animals can thrive there, in their own unfettered communities.
We have no true wilderness in Britain today. Natural woodland once covered over 70% of our land, but farming has displaced all that wildwood. We have lost our wolves, lynx, bear, wild boar and beaver, and severely reduced the range of wildcat, polecat and pine marten. Nowhere has been left untouched by people and their farming. Our hills and mountains are over-grazed, and our rivers and marshes constrained. We exploit and manage every landscape without leaving anything to natural forces.
Wilderness and wildland should be important to us, just as it is in the South American rainforests, the Rocky Mountains in North America, the wildernesses of Australasia and South Africa, or the mountainous regions of continental Europe. If you wish to learn more about this, then read some of the articles on this website. The articles look at:
the 5,000 years in which we have shaped our landscapes through farming and game keeping
the threat to wildness from SSSI designation and the target driven approach to nature conservation
how a Permaculture approach to land use can make a difference
how giving land back to wild nature would make some of Britain’s landscapes self-willed again (see the manifesto)
Self-willed land for its own sake will only exist in Britain if land is held inalienably in the public good and that legislation exists to define its natural character, and thus the limits to human intervention.