We are a grassroots group of ordinary people, campaigners and experts. As the climate and extinction crisis worsens, we’re setting our long-term vision on 50% of the country being rewilded. That's a big goal, so we’re starting by asking the country’s biggest landowners to urgently commit to ambitious rewilding projects to get us started.
In 2021, Wild Card launched a campaign to pressure three of the biggest landowners in the UK to take action. They are the Royal Estates (including the Crown, Duchy of Lancaster and Duchy of Cornwall Estates), the Church Commissioners, and the Oxbridge Colleges.
We are currently self-funded and run entirely by volunteers. Our launch group includes: gardeners, teachers, ecologists, authors, environmental campaigners and artists.
Our campaign tactics will be joyous, creative and always non-violent. Think medieval parades, children’s choirs, guerilla rewilding… Everyone is welcome to join our cause.
The state of Britain’s nature is abysmal. Despite myths of a ‘green and pleasant land’, our landscape is a source of national shame.
Whilst once these islands were covered in wild habitat such as temperate rainforests, (for real!) now only sheep-grazed deserts remain. Where once there roamed lions, bears, wolves, lynx, beavers, bison and white storks, today we’re lucky to meet a roadkill hedgehog.
By weight, 60% of the UK’s animals are livestock, 36% are humans and only 4% are wild.
Today, as pollinators vanish and soil fertility plummets, our country’s very stability and security is on the line. Sadly, most of us are not in a position to rectify this easily. Over 50% of England is owned by 1% of its population. In Scotland, under 500 landowners own more than half the nation. If we want to save our lands, we must take our urgent plea to these landowners.
Wild Card wants the country’s largest landowners to begin ambitious rewilding schemes now. Our long-term vision is to see 50% of the country fully rewilded.
No more slippery terms like ‘protected’ or ‘conservation area’. No more romanticisation of destructive land practices. Half means half. We ask for this to begin immediately, working with local communities and smaller landowners, because we recognise that many steps will need to be taken along the way. And trees take time to grow, you know…
We are non-violent. Creativity, silliness and humour are our weapons.
We are uncompromising. We believe that more-than-human-life has a right to exist without human exploitation in a state of true wildness.
We don’t accept tradition as an excuse. It is the duty of each generation to reforge traditions that are inhumane and unjust.
We welcome everyone. We do not tolerate bigotry, and we stand in solidarity with all oppressed peoples.
We recognise the complexity of the issue. We know that reaching a half-wilded country will take time, but believe it’s essential to aim big and to start now.
We want a just transition. Rewilding gives us the opportunity for people and nature to work together for mutual benefit to progress towards a more sustainable future.
To rewild the land and water is to allow untamed life to return to ecosystems and landscapes, such that they are once again sustained by the natural processes that created them in the first place. In restoring these processes, human intervention may be required.