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Summary

Rebirding takes the long view of Britain’s wildlife decline, from the early taming of our landscape and its long-lost elephants and rhinos, to fenland drainage, and the removal of cornerstone species such as wild cattle, horses, beavers and boar. Forward in time, it also covers the intensification of our modern landscapes and the collapse of invertebrate populations.

It looks at key reasons why species are vanishing, as our landscapes become ever more tamed and less diverse, with wildlife trapped in tiny pockets of habitat. It explores how Britain has, uniquely, relied on modifying farmland, rather than restoring ecosystems, in a failing attempt to halt wildlife decline.

The irony is that 94 percent of Britain is not built upon at all. And with more nature-loving voices than any European country, we should, in fact, have the best, not the most impoverished, wildlife in our continent. Especially when the rural economics of our game estates and upland farms are among the worst in Europe.

Britain is blessed with all the space it needs for an epic wildlife recovery. The deer estates of the Scottish Highlands are twice the size of Yellowstone National Park. Snowdonia is larger than the Maasai Mara. The problem in Britain is not a lack of space. It is that our precious space is uniquely wasted - not only for wildlife, but for people’s jobs and rural futures, too.

Rebirding maps out how we might finally turn things around: rewilding national parks, restoring natural ecosystems, and allowing our wildlife a far richer future. In doing so, an entirely new sector of rural jobs would be created, finally bringing Britain’s dying rural landscapes and failing economies back to life.

Praise for the book:

“This is a wonderful book, visionary, illuminating and fascinating.” (George Monbiot, author and environmental activist)

"A wonderfully imaginative book, which shows how things could be with our rapidly declining areas of countryside, instead of how - despairingly - they are now." (Rod Liddle, The Spectator)

©2019 Benedict Macdonald (P)2020 Benedict Macdonald

What listeners say about Rebirding

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You will look at the world through different eyes.

Brilliant narration, book is utterly fantastic and eye opening. This book isn't just birds or for bird people, I picked it because I was interested in the concept of rewilding. If you care about or are interested in nature, this book will give you a new way of looking at your sorroundings through the knowledge of what used to be, what the current state is and how we can move forward.

I feel like this book could be the platform for the beginning of a potentially amazing movement.

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Inspirational book

Everyone who loves British nature should read this book to be inspired by what is possible. And then badger the nature charities to work for this, and not give up at setbacks.

2 people found this helpful

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A captivating, fabulous read. Highly recommended.

Not just for birders! The past, present and future ecology of the UK. Common sense conservation.

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Informative, sobering, inspiring

The book doesn't pull any punches, putting across the grim state of British birds.
The author then states the path out that would benefit all including land owners, hunters, wild life and most importantly birds.
A really interesting listen, I cant recommend it enough.

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Ask for more from conservation!

very interesting work chronicalling the disappearance of UK birds and asking for landscape keel rewilding

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Compelling call to action

This book doesn't just outline the terrible decline of UK birds, it offers radical solutions including urging UK conservation bodies and charities to be far less 'conservative' about nature 'conservation'. Promoting a shift towards a holistic and landscape-scale 'Serengeti'-style of rewilding in some key areas, with large herbivores and thriving areas of scrub, grassland, woodlands, wetlands and other habitats, would have a fantastic effect on British wildlife species as already exemplified so effectively by the Knepp Estate. Everyone with an interest in wildlife should read or listen to this be book - especially current conservation managers and influencers.

The narration could be better with a more varied delivery and not mispronouncing some key words, but was still effective in delivering the compelling message of this book.

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A call for rebirding and rewilding.

This book starkly outlines why British birds are disappearing. At times imaginative. Calls for action.

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Strong message well researched

This book makes so much sense; bringing together experiences from other countries who have vastly better diversity than the Uk and comparing their approach with the UK's rather flawed systems of ecological protection. Very importantly, a number of key steps are suggested to help us resolve the problems we face. An essential read for anyone interested in the environment irrespective of their particular interest in birds. Just a slight shame the narrator doesn't have any bird knowledge and pronounces some common names in such a way that makes this is very obvious. Distracting but not disastrous. Very highly recommended

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amazing book

so amazing , you Learn so many new facts , great for young or old nature nuts

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Essential reading for birders & naturalists alike

Depressing figures with solutions, rather than a bombardment of the former and none of the latter - like much of what I'm seeing everywhere.

Very well researched and written. Essential, essential, essential! Read/listen and share!