chapter  5
To the waters and the wild
Reflections on eco-social healing in the WILD project
WithKatherine Phillips, Antony Lyons
Pages 12

This chapter focuses on the model of ‘integrated local delivery’ and its relationship to land-use management and people’s diverse engagement as ‘hydrocitizens’. It considers how the approach taken by Water and Integrated Local Delivery (WILD) can provide a holistic ecological model, enabling an integration of healing and recovery on individual, social, community and bioregional levels. The WILD project operates on the whole catchment, or watershed, of the River Churn. Working with volunteer groups, farmers, residents and local organisations, WILD takes an integrative approach to enhancing water quality and ecology, attending to social and policy rifts and disconnects, as well as individual healing and wellbeing. Besides the multisensory aspects of interacting with water, the volunteer activity on the river involves another important element: that of purposeful physical work requiring absorbed attention. The tasks are purposeful, focused on improving the ecological health of the river, and integrated with the management of the surrounding land.