What Knowledge, Skills, Experience and Qualities do you need to be a Rewilder?

We hope that rewilding is going to become a fantastic career opportunity sooner rather than later. And what a career it could be! A great opportunity to connect with nature and people. Do you want such a career? If so, the list below details some of the knowledge, skills, experience, and qualities we think are going to be really beneficial to any rewilder. It’s a pretty long list, but not exhaustive. We don’t think any one person needs it all, but these are all things worth looking into if you’re interested. We’ve added a few links for places to find more information, but we’d love to add more so please share links! The list was collated and supplemented by Chris Sandom via Twitter (@Nature_Based). Many thanks to everyone that contributed to this (evolving) list!

Knowledge

Ecology

Human-Nature interactions

  • Shifting baseline syndrome
  • Social science theory
  • Perceptions of wilderness and wildness
  • Agricultural and forestry history and its influence on biodiversity
  • The limitations of traditional nature reserve conservation
  • What makes a successful conservation project
  • Rural political, social & economic viability
  • Socio-economic justice
  • Nature Based Solutions
  • Compassionate conservation
  • Permaculture
  • Agro-ecological farming
  • Herbal medicine
  • Natural world folklore
  • Mindfulness and meditation

Other

Skills & Experience

Field skills, Field skills, Field skills

  • Naturalist and field survey skills
  • Taxonomy (Identification skills)
  • A variety of biodiversity metrics
  • Ability assess composition, structure, and function of ecosystems
  • Navigation
  • Wilderness first aid

Project management skills

  • Vision-setting
  • Partnership building (Social skills)
  • Influencer skills
  • Facilitation skills
  • Strategy development
  • Fundraising
  • Monitoring
  • Data analysis

Land & species management skills

  • Species reintroduction
  • Invasive species control
  • Management to mimic natural processes
  • Forestry

Use of technology

Communication skills

  • Inspirational communications skills helping to paint an achievable yet transformational vision that people can and want to be part of
  • Citizen involvement and community engagement, and public relation skills

Agro-ecological skills

  • Agroecological farming skills

Other

  • Tactics to stop extraction

Experience

  • Field trip to a rewilding project
  • Experience using the above skills
  • Multi-year exposure to one or a few places

Qualities

  • Empathetic
  • Ability to engender a sense of excitement, hope and aspiration
  • Avid reader and listener
  • Confident in thinking for yourself
  • Able to respect other ways of life and belief systems, being inclusive, giving equal opportunities
  • Optimistic/positive 
  • Comfortable with uncertainty and lack of targets 
  • Willing to learn from mistakes, experience, others 
  • See both big picture and detail
  • Ability to take on a broad range of skills
  • Ability to see things from different perspectives and value the perspectives of others
  • Developing an understanding that we humans are nature and that all of nature is sentient. 
  • Developing the ability to listen to other species rather than just imposing what we think is best on them.
  • Ability to think at a landscape scale

Dr Chris Sandom

Senior Lecturer University of Sussex – https://profiles.sussex.ac.uk/p361723-christopher-sandom

Director Wild Business Ltd – http://www.wildbusiness.org

Chairperson Rewilding Sussex – https://rewildingsussex.org

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