chapter  7
16 Pages

Nature and the Wild

Conservation in the UK has grown up without a coherent philosophy, a cultural and scientific rag-bag of passion, insight and good intentions. Thinking about conservation has also, as we have seen, developed with a set of practical concerns (rare species, characteristic habitats, beautiful landscapes) and a set of recognised and institutionalised activities (particularly the complex pattern of British protected areas). However, underneath this established pattern, conservation floats on a maelstrom of diverse ideas. Science provides a handy recipe book, but it cannot tell us what to make in nature. Furthermore, its ideas about how the ingredients of ecosystems fit together have changed, which is rather unnerving. So how do we find ideas on which to base conservation?