During lockdown, I have become very interested in Rewilding. This is a process of letting farmed land return to its natural state and in the process, allowing a return of wildlife which has been severely depleted in the last 50 years. The Knepp estate in Horsham in the South of England shows how this is possible. Knepp also shows that the land can in turn offer us much more than it has in its depleted state.
I have found the idea of rewilding has allowed me to put words to a feeling I have had for a long time in relation to my work as a landscape painter. I have always craved places that are wild and without the the traces of human interference and have found in the last few years that I have only come close to finding those places in Scotland, in the hills and beaches of Wales and on the coast in England.
I sincerely hope that there will begin to be many more rewilding projects as people realise the urgent need to restore our countryside in order to secure the continuance of many species of animal and plant and secure the future of our planet. Pioneering landowners in Britain helped by organisations such as Rewilding Britain and Heal have been leading the way. I hope now that the reclaiming of our wild places will be given the importance it very much needs to be given.