Straight to the heart: a wildland strategy
If Britain were to embrace a wildland ethos by setting aside one large area for each of the three nations, it would set a marker for the world. The Dutch ministries have worked together on a 5000 ha wild area and plan corridors. Britain is not as crowded a country as the Netherlands. Wildland could be created and safeguarded as a natural sanctuary on a much larger scale – of the order of several hundred square kilometres. It would send a signal to all developing countries whose wildlife policies we currently hope to influence. If that project were to involve the active study of the return of eradicated large mammals such as elk, forest cattle and ponies, with lynx, wolf and bear, we could have greater hope of influence in countries that now seek to safeguard the tiger, lion and leopard. Furthermore, we would be contributing significantly to a new ethos of toleration for predators that is slowly gaining ground in the Alps, northern Spain, Germany and Scandinavia. Above all, we would be signalling a move beyond the past conservation paradigm to a more creative and extensive philosophy, one already apparent in the current projects we have outlined, but hitherto not embraced in all its potential.