Pete Cooper is a wilding ecologist at the Derek Gow Consultancy, where he works on a variety of species reintroduction and rewilding projects. He leads a project trialing the captive breeding and reintroduction of glowworms, as well as working closely on reintroduction projects for other species including the harvest mouse, wildcat and turtle dove.
Derek Gow is a farmer, nature conservationist, and the author of Bringing Back the Beaver. He lives on a 300-acre farm on the Devon/Cornwall border, which he is in the process of rewilding. Derek has played a significant role in the reintroduction of the Eurasian beaver, the water vole and the white stork in England.
When beavers were hunted to extinction in England some 400 years ago, the wetlands they maintained largely vanished. Now, as part of Britain’s broader rewilding mission, conservationists are returning beavers to the landscape—and boosting biodiversity in the process.
Eurasian beavers were driven extinct in Britain centuries ago. But now these preeminent ecosystem engineers are back—charming many Britons, perturbing others, and all the while stimulating a healthy debate about whether the island nation is ready to embrace a wilder future.
Beavers are a wonder to behold. They are ecosystem engineers–able to modify their habitats and change landscapes in ways that cultivate biodiversity and create wetlands. That ability makes them keystone species–they have an outsize influence on their ecosystems and the species they live with. But as a species, they also need help and protection, as […]