The best books on rewilding and the biodiversity crisis

Dave Goulson Author Of The Garden Jungle
By Dave Goulson

The Books I Picked & Why

Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life

By Edward O. Wilson

Book cover of Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life

Why this book?

EO Wilson died just a few weeks ago, at the age of 92. It was a sad day for me, as he has always been one of my great heroes. “E.O.” was a fantastic scientist, a world authority on ants, and sometimes known as the “father of biodiversity”. In this book, he argues that we have no right to drive millions of species extinct and that our own future depends upon setting aside half the Earth for nature.    


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Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm

By Isabella Tree

Book cover of Wilding: Returning Nature to Our Farm

Why this book?

This is the heart-warming and inspirational story of the author’s own rewilding project, on the Knepp estate in West Sussex, UK. I know Knepp well, since it is near to my home. For 20 years the author and her husband have allowed nature to run riot on their 3,500-acre estate. This book captures the magic of a visit to the project itself, a place where wildlife now thrives unchecked, purple emperor butterflies soar in the treetops, and nightingales can once more be heard singing.  


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Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life

By George Monbiot

Book cover of Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life

Why this book?

This book made me look at our countryside in a new way, and question our blind acceptance of the status quo. This is a fiercely critical look at our impoverished, tamed, often boring landscape, and argues for bringing back nature. Why can’t we have wolves, lynx, and bears roaming free once again in our countryside? George presents a clear vision for a wilder future.


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Rebirding: Winner of the Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation: Restoring Britain's Wildlife

By Benedict MacDonald

Book cover of Rebirding: Winner of the Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation: Restoring Britain's Wildlife

Why this book?

This is a wonderfully imaginative book. It examines how Britain, a nation of nature lovers with over 1 million members of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, has become one of the most damaged and denuded countries on the planet. Although depressing in parts when looking at the depths of our global biodiversity crisis, this book explains how we can turn this around, heal our land, bring back wildlife, and ensure vibrant rural communities. 


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Rebugging the Planet: The Remarkable Things That Insects (and Other Invertebrates) Do - And Why We Need to Love Them More

By Vicki Hird

Book cover of Rebugging the Planet: The Remarkable Things That Insects (and Other Invertebrates) Do - And Why We Need to Love Them More

Why this book?

Vicki is a fellow insect enthusiast, so perhaps it is inevitable that I would love her new book on the wonders of the ‘bug’ world. Insects are vital, pollinating crops and wildflowers, keeping soils healthy, recycling leaves, dung and dead bodies, and controlling crop pests. Love them or loathe them, we all need them. This book gives lots of practical tips as to what you can do to encourage bugs in your space. 


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