Chris Packham, the wildlife writer and TV presenter, has thrown his weight behind Rewilding Britain, a new independent charity that aims to restore nature and reintroduce missing species such as wild boar, bison, lynx, pelicans and eventually wolves and sperm whales.
On a straight-talking blog published on the charity’s website he describes the current state-of-play as: “a noxious blend of ignorance, ludicrous antipathy and insidious vested interests”.
Mr Packham, a zoology graduate, states the case for rewilding: “How much more of our natural heritage needs to be destroyed before we accept that in plain terms that conservation as we currently ply it . . . is simply not working?
“It’s so frustrating because we have the ability to reintroduce these amazing animals. Indeed, we have an arsenal of techniques and practices which we have researched, tried and tested. We could be implementing them all to make our backyard a better place for life.”
He urges what he calls “timorous conservationists” to make the leap towards rewilding: “From my point of view, Rewilding Britain represents a real, brave, imaginative and intelligent solution to so many of our problems.
“I urge you to stop pretending it’s all going to be okay in the end, to stop waiting for a miracle and join us in this vision for a better wilder Britain.
“Never has there been such a need to assemble a passionate, driven, caring collection of people to summon the conviction to stand up and actually get on with making a difference.”
George Monbiot, whose book Feral: rewilding the land, sea and human life helped to inspire the new charity, and is a key supporter, added: “We are delighted Chris has put his name behind our charity. Since launching last week, we’ve certainly managed to raise the profile of the issue.
“We’re heartened by the welcome we’ve received from existing conservation organisations. We hope this will turn into support for rewilding actions on the ground. We need everyone onboard to stop the catastrophic decline of nature in Britain.
“We’ll keep working to ensure this hugely important issue remains on the agenda and we get closer to making rewilding a reality.”