The enormity of climate change and biodiversity loss can leave us feeling overwhelmed. How can an individual ever make a difference?
Isabella Tree and Charlie Burrell know firsthand how spectacularly nature can bounce back if you give it the chance. And what comes is not just wildlife in super-abundance, but solutions to the other environmental crises we face.
The Book of Wilding is a handbook for how we can all help restore nature. It is ambitious, visionary and pragmatic. The book has grown out of Isabella and Charlie's mission to help rewild Britain, Europe and the rest of the world by sharing knowledge from their pioneering project at Knepp in Sussex. It is inspired by the requests they receive from people wanting to learn how to rewild everything from unprofitable farms, landed estates and rivers, to ponds, allotments, churchyards, urban parks and public spaces. The Book of Wilding has the answers.
Rewilding is a spectrum of possibility, and everyone is on it. Whether you have a garden, roadside verge or window box, there is no space too small. Rewilding is learning how to contribute to a living landscape, to connect with other areas of nature and help forge the life-support system that will save our planet from calamity and provide humankind with a prosperous and sustainable future.
Deeply researched and with original illustrations by Jeroen Helmer, Europe's foremost environmental artist, this book explains why rewilding is important and how every one of us can play a part. The Book of Wilding is a practical guide and call to action. Above all, it is a manifesto of hope.
Isabella Tree is an award-winning author and travel writer, and lives with her husband, the conservationist Charlie Burrell, in the middle of a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex. She is author of five non-fiction books. Her book Wilding: The Return of Nature to an English Farm has sold quarter of a million copies worldwide and won the 2019 Richard Jefferies prize for nature writing and was one of the Smithsonian's top ten science books for 2018.
"As the Roman poet Horace said, "Drive nature out with a pitchfork and she'll come roaring back". That hopeful and demonstrably true observation lies behind the urgent optimism of this wonderful book. Rewilding works and it works fast: nature does reclaim with stunning speed and power. In The Book of Wilding Isabella Tree and Charlie Burrell take us on a fabulous adventure that demonstrates how almost every single one of us can contribute to the grand project of rewilding that is so vital for the future of our country, our continent and our planet. Beauty, wonder and dazzling variety are the rewards for surprisingly small amounts of input and labour. Get this great guide and be inspired to go wilding yourself, no matter how small the patch of our earth you call your own"
– Stephen Fry
"Five years ago, Isabella Tree's phenomenal book Wilding started a national conversation about restoring our flat-lining landscape. The Book of Wilding, co-authored with her husband Charlie Burrell, takes that conversation to the next level. It is both brilliantly readable and incredibly hard-working, offering all of us the opportunity to get involved. Let's do it!"
– Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
"One of the wisest women alive, Isabella Tree has produced a handbook of hope. Her advice is invaluable; it reaches everyone who wants to make a better world out of the mess we humans have created. Buy it, read it, start changing things right now"
– Joanna Lumley
"The definitive wildlife survival manual [...] Visions of paradise with all the practical advice to make it"
– Chris Packham
"Rewilding offers new hope for our beleaguered biodiversity. Buy this inspiring book and get rewilding!"
– Davie Goulson
"A revolutionary and realistic recipe for restoring nature, nurturing new life and filling our homes, habitats and hearts with more wild joy"
– Patrick Barkham
"This beautifully written and lavishly illustrated book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in rewilding, landscapes or indeed nature"
– Tristan Gooley
"[The Book of Wilding] is an eloquent yet hard-hitting synthesis of how a little helping hand can allow nature to heal itself, resulting in astounding outcomes for wildlife, while enriching our own lives in every conceivable way. With rare honesty and thoughtful reflections, the authors share their experiences and vision for greening farmscapes and cityscapes at every scale. This book is not merely important, it is epoch-making and world-building"
– Dr Gabriel Hemery, author of The New Sylva
"All is not lost. Nature's capacity to heal can still overcome our tendency to disrupt and destroy. This inspiring book shows how it can be done"
– Eric Schlosser, author of Command and Control
"A game changer for sure. Informed and visionary. Easy to digest and persuasive. Just jolly well buy this book. It's a lifetime must that's essential"
– Derek Gow