Rewilding Regions - Utility Bidder

Rewilding Regions

When choosing a business energy supplier, it’s important to consider where that energy comes from and its effect on the climate. Human disturbance from construction, energy extraction and poor waste management has caused environmental damage to many ecosystems, threatening native wildlife and pushing some species to the brink of extinction.

These ecosystems are vital in the global carbon cycle and maintaining biodiversity in our wildlife, so restoring them is crucial. As a result, many countries have undergone rewilding projects to rejuvenate damaged ecosystems and reintroduce species that once lived there.

Rewilding projects are hugely important for the fauture environmental health and habitability of our planet. As well as providing vital habitats for threatened species of flora and fauna, they can also provide people with fantastic areas of natural beauty to explore wildlife in a responsible manner.

There are many rewilding projects taking place in the UK, and we wanted to know the most popular ones. We’ve looked into search data, Tripadvisor reviews, and Instagram posts to find the UK’s favourite rewilding projects.

Wicken Fen is the most searched rewilding project, with 350,000 searches

If you want to get involved in a rewilding project or simply check the progress of one, a quick Google search is often the best place to turn to. That’s why we’ve looked into the last four years of Google search data to see which rewilding projects people were most interested in.

1.

Wicken Fen

Cambridgeshire

@wickenfennt

Taking the top spot as the most searched rewilding project is Wicken Fen, with almost 350,000 Google searches. Wicken Fen is the National Trust’s oldest nature reserve and one of Europe’s most important wetlands. It’s home to 9,000 species, including Britain’s rarest bird of prey, the hen harrier, as well as short-eared owls, wigeons, and all manner of warbler species.

Google searches Oct 2019 - Sep 2023:

349,300

2.

Knepp Castle Estate

West Sussex

@kneppwilding

Knepp Castle Estate takes second place, with just over 324,000 Google Searches. Rewilding began here in 2001, aiming to turn exhausted farmland into a habitat for various species. It has been a huge success, with an incredible increase in wildlife, including rare species such as turtle doves, nightingales, and purple emperor butterflies breeding at this West Sussex-based estate.

Google searches Oct 2019 - Sep 2023:

324,100

3.

Wild Ken Hill

Norfolk

@wildkenhill_norfolk

Our top three is completed by Wild Ken Hill, with just over 200,000 Google searches. Based in Norfolk, Wild Ken Hill combines rewilding and regenerative agriculture to assist in nature recovery. The project started in 2019, and since then, the number of different plants has approximately doubled. Scrub and tree species have also begun to regenerate naturally.

Google searches Oct 2019 - Sep 2023:

203,010

The most searched rewilding projects

KEY: Number of searches between October 2019 - September 2023

Rewilding Project

UK Area

Wicken Fen is the most Instagrammable rewilding project, with over 13,000 posts

The natural beauty on show at these rewilding projects often makes for a spectacular photo. That’s why we looked at Instagram posts to see which rewilding projects people found the most picturesque.

1.

Wicken Fen

Cambridgeshire

@wickenfennt

Taking the top spot once again is Wicken Fen, with just over 13,000 Instagram posts. The Cambridgeshire-based nature reserve is one of the rewilding projects you can explore and is a treasure-trove for birdwatchers. It supports a cafe, shop, and visitor centre to help generate funds for the project. There are also 40 km of trails for walking, cycling, or horse riding.

Instagram posts:

13,068

2.

Mar Lodge

Cairngorms National Park

@nationaltrustforscotland

Mar Lodge takes second place with almost 2,800 Instagram posts. Mar Lodge is located in the heart of Cairngorms National Park. Rewilding started in 1995, intending to rejuvenate the pinewood that suffered from sheep and deer browsing. Despite the struggling pinewood, the wildlife survived and remains home to some iconic species such as pine martens and red squirrels.

Instagram posts:

2,794

3.

Creag Meagaidh

Scotland

@creagmeagaidhnnr

Our top three is completed by Creag Meagaidh, with 2,378 Instagram posts. Rewilding in Creag Meagaidh has been successful after the woodland was damaged due to a high deer population and large-scale sheep farming. Wildlife you might encounter here includes red deer, ptarmigans and mountain hares.

Instagram posts:

2,378

The most Instgrammable rewilding projects

KEY: Number of Instagram posts

Rewilding Project

UK Area

The most beautiful rewilding project is Mar Lodge, with 72% of Tripadvisor reviews containing the words beautiful, amazing, or stunning

The incredible scenery in these rewilding areas attracts visitors and tourists from all over the world. It’s a great way of funding the project and letting people see the success for themselves.

1.

Mar Lodge

Cairngorms National Park

@nationaltrustforscotland

Mar Lodge takes the top spot, with almost three-quarters of reviews containing the words beautiful, amazing, or stunning. Long-distance walking is one of the most common reasons people visit Mar Lodge Estate. The 25km circular trail takes almost seven hours to complete and can be quite challenging. However, the gorgeous scenery certainly makes the effort worthwhile.

Tripadvisor reviews containing the words beautiful, amazing, or stunning:

72.45%

2.

Gilfach

Wales

@radnorshirewildlifetrust

In second place is Gilfach, with just over 60% of Tripadvisor reviews containing the words beautiful, amazing, or stunning. This Welsh nature reserve is another popular hiking spot, with visitors particularly enjoying the rivers and waterfalls.

Tripadvisor reviews containing the words beautiful, amazing, or stunning:

60.63%

3.

Mapperton Estate

Dorset

@mapperton_estate

Our top three is completed by Mapperton Estate, with just over 55% of Tripadvisor reviews containing the words beautiful, amazing, or stunning. Located in West Dorset, the Estate is almost 2,000 acres, consisting of five farms. It’s a fantastic place to visit due to the view of the valley and the mosaic of different habitats.

Tripadvisor reviews containing the words beautiful, amazing, or stunning:

55.36%

The most beautiful rewilding projects

KEY: Percentage of reviews containing 'Beautiful' 'Amazing' 'Stunning'

Rewilding Project

UK Area

The rewilding capital of the UK is Scotland, with 17 rewilding projects - more than any other UK region

Rewilding projects can happen anywhere across the world. But we wanted to know where they were happening the most in the UK. We’ve revealed the UK regions with the most rewilding projects.

1.

Scotland

Scotland is the rewilding capital of the UK, with 17 rewilding projects. The rewilding projects in Scotland are distributed fairly evenly across the country. However, the Scottish areas with the most rewilding projects, all with two, are Dumfries & Galloway, Argyll, and the Scottish Highlands.

Rewilding projects

17

2.

South West England

In second place, with 13 rewilding projects, is the South West of England. Devon, Somerset, and Dorset have the most rewilding projects in South West England, each with three. Cornwall follows behind with two rewilding projects, and Exmoor and Gloucestershire each have one.

Rewilding projects

13

3.

East of England

Our top three is completed by the East of England, with 11 rewilding projects. Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, and Suffolk each have two rewilding projects, but Lincolnshire takes the East of England’s top spot with three.

Rewilding projects

11

4.

South East England

Rewilding projects

7

4.

North West England

7

6.

North East England

5

7.

East Midlands

4

7.

Yorkshire and the Humber

4

9.

Wales

3

10.

London

1

10.

West Midlands

1

Four keystone species that have been reintroduced to Britain

Keystone species are organisms that help their environment thrive. They are hugely important to their ecosystems, to the point where their extinction could mean the ecosystem fails entirely. In some cases, rewilding requires certain animals or plants to be reintroduced to that area to allow the ecosystem to thrive. Below are four such animals that have been reintroduced into the UK.

Eurasian Beaver

Tayside, Argyll, Devon

Year re-introduced:

2002

Around 400 years ago, the Eurasian Beaver was hunted to extinction for its fur and castoreum, which was used for perfumes and medicine. Through building dams and digging canals, the Eurasian beaver is a keystone species that can create and maintain habitats. They were officially reintroduced in Kent in 2002 and have since been reintroduced all over England and Scotland.

European Bison

Kent

Year re-introduced:

2022

The European bison is a keystone species that helps rewild woodlands. Despite not being native to the UK, its close relative, the forest bison, lived in the UK during the Pleistocene age. They were introduced to the UK in 2022 as part of the Wilder Blean project in Kent. The project has been a success, marked by the unexpected birth of a bison calf.

Golden Eagle

Scottish Highlands, Hebrides

Year re-introduced:

N/A (Never fully extinct)

The golden eagle became extinct in England and Wales during the 18th and 19th centuries, often being killed by gamekeepers and sheep farmers to protect their livestock. The golden eagle population is slowly recovering, mainly in the Scottish Highlands and Hebrides, where they have space to roam and access to live prey. There are suitable habitats in both England and Wales, such as the Lake District and Snowdonia, so rewilding projects in these areas that encourage prey species to proliferate could pave the way for the more widespread reintroduction of golden eagles.

White-Tailed Eagle

Scotland, Isle of Wight

Year re-introduced:

1975 (Scotland) 2019 (England)

The white-tailed eagle is an apex predator and Britain's largest bird of prey. Between 1950 and 1960, there were two failed attempts to reintroduce this bird into the UK. However, in 1975, they were successfully reintroduced to Rum in Scotland. The white-tailed eagle population spread across the west coast of Scotland, and in 2007, they were introduced to Scotland’s east coast. There are now over 150 pairs of white-tailed eagles living in Scotland.

Four expert tips for rewilding your garden

Rewilding your garden can significantly impact the ecosystem in both your garden and your local area. Below are four expert tips on how to rewild your garden.

1

Avoid Fertilisers and Pesticides

Fertilisers and pesticides can cause long-term damage to your soil and kill more species than intended. Rewilding involves restoring an area to its natural state, and pesticides prevent that from happening.

2

Home Composting

Compost is an organic material which can be used as an alternative to synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. Crushed egg shells, vegetable and fruit scraps, and coffee grounds are all compostable as they are easily broken down by the bacteria in the soil. Some benefits of compost include enriching your soil and resisting bugs and diseases.

3

Stop Mowing Your Lawn

A freshly mowed lawn can look fantastic. However, leaving your lawn to grow can positively affect the local wildlife. There are up to 200 species that could grow on your lawn and, if left to flower, could produce enough nectar to support the equivalent of 400 bees a day.

4

Install a pond

The diversity of species is an essential factor to aim for when rewilding, and installing a pond can help achieve this. A pond can be a source of food and water for the local wildlife, which includes frogs, birds, and insects. A pond can also boost the aesthetics of your garden.

Methodology

To create our seeding list, we used Rewilding Britain and Trees for Life for rewilding projects across the UK.

We also used Rewilding Britain for the key species that have been reintroduced to the UK.

We then used Google Keyword Planner to find the number of searches for each rewilding project. The figures reflect the total searches between October 2019 and September 2023.

We used Instagram for the rewilding projects with the most Instagram posts.

We then used Tripadvisor for the number of reviews containing the words beautiful, amazing, and stunning. We then totalled the reviews containing these keywords and used the total number of reviews to reveal the percentage of reviews containing these keywords.

Any rewilding project with fewer than ten Tripadvisor reviews was removed.

Data is accurate as of 10/11/2023.

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