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GSI Seminar - Virginia Thomas

The three Rs of conservation in Britain: rewilding, reintroductions and restoration

Event details

In an era when declining biodiversity has been identified as one of the main risks to humanity, addressing biodiversity decline is in humanity’s interest, not to mention the moral argument for conserving biodiversity for its own sake. Despite the anthropocentric interests involved, however, action to halt and reverse biodiversity decline is far from straightforward, even at local scales, not to speak of the global scale. My research focuses on Britain, where less than half of the country’s biodiversity remains intact, largely as a result of agriculture. While rewilding is being touted as a possible solution to environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, embracing an open-ended process where the outcome is uncertain and where natural agency is accepted rather than controlled is antithetical to many concepts of land management in Britain, including some forms of conservation. My research has examined how rewilding is being adapted in England to fit with other forms of land use, including and especially agriculture, and on the actors (human and other-than-human) and actions involved in this negotiation. More recently I’ve been investigating reintroductions (of the red kite and the wildcat) as one facet of rewilding, and how humans negotiate with and about reintroduced species in attempts to find ways of co-existing that enable mutual flourishing. 

This seminar will take place in person with an online option. If you would like the Zoom link and are not already on our mailing list please contact


Laver Building LT3