Wild Futures

Be a part of our Wild Futures project and share your vision for a more bio-diverse Sussex

Grand visions and big changes are needed to meet the challenges facing the world today. How we use land is at the very heart of how we meet these challenges. Wild Futures is about giving young people (16-25) the opportunity to create and share visions of future landscapes that bring them hope.

Romantic-era artists painted a rural idyll of Britain’s celebrated countryside. These picturesque scenes of farmed land have become visions of landscape aspirations today. While glorious in many ways and packed with cultural heritage, the future presents new stark challenges such as climate breakdown and ecosystem collapse. Adapting the way we live and interact with nature will be essential to safeguard future generations and nature. We are planning a wild journey to explore Sussex’s most innovative and sustainable landscapes and to use these places as inspiration for creating the blueprint for a more sustainable and hopeful future.

We are recruiting a diverse group of young people to join us in our wild journey through some of Sussex’s most inspirational sites.We are assembling a group of 15 young people passionate about creating a better future. This group aims to reflect the diversity of young people today. With our youth group assembled, the project team leaders Betsy Gorman, Izzy Taylor, Dan Locke, Rachel White,and Chris Sandom will lead mini-adventures of discovery and exploration. We’ll learn about the people and nature that are making sites special. We’ll gain a greater knowledge and understanding about what it takes to meet today’s sustainability challenges.

With these inspirational adventures under our belts, we’ll visit a range of different sites who are looking to change the way they interact with the land. We’ll meet the land owners and managers, chat to people visiting the site, and create visions for its future to look forward to. The goal will be to describe how the landscape will change under different approaches to sustainable management. Whether inspired by bio-dynamic farming, conservation, rewilding, or something totally different, this workshop will create a vision for people and nature in the landscape. We will explore what actions and management would be needed to create these visions and discuss how nature might influence these visions.

Our main output will be a graphic novel that captures our collection of wild adventures and visions for the future. The novel will be primarily produced by the lead team members but include contributions from those in the youth group that wish to. The novel will be structured into 3 parts: 1) an introduction to the authors and youth group; 2) a journey of discovery through our inspirational sites; and, 3) visions to look forward to. We will put on an exhibition at a Brighton gallery to show off the art work produced and invite a larger audience in to discuss visions for the future. We will run an extensive social media campaign sharing the graphic novel content, blogs and videos created from our wild journey. Each core team member will present their journey to at least one public audience.

We’ll share the graphic novel with the land managers we visit as inspiration for creating more hopeful futures for the next generation. We’ll give copies of the graphic novel to local youth groups, colleges, and libraries to share our journey and message and to encourage young people to get engaged with creating better futures for themselves. We’ll help them engage their local politicians and land owners to help make real change in their communities. By sharing our journey on social media we’ll start a conversation about the Sussex landscape, covering what it looks like and what it could be and needs to be. We’ll help people make the connection between how they live and the landscape it creates around them, and in turn how that influences their lives. How many people know that the more red meat we eat,the more likely we are to experience severe climate change, flooding, pollution, and bland landscapes?!

The Youth Group will be led by Betsy Gorman and Izzy Taylor as core team members who are also young people themselves.We seek to recruit an additional 15 young people from East and West Sussex, principally living or working near to Brighton or the M23 corridor. This region is where the project team is based and where most site visits will occur. Recruiting young people from this region will help keep transport time down, minimising carbon emissions. We seek to recruit a diverse group of young people with varied life experiences, backgrounds, and identities, living in rural and urban areas. We will ask young people to complete an application form to describe why they want to be involved in the project.

Want to get involved?

We are looking for partners who want to realise their own wild adventure! We welcome ideas, collaboration, and suggestions. Contact us at rewildingsussex@gmail.com

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