In this episode we look at rewilding on both a small and a large scale – from the ‘Best in Show’ garden at The Chelsea Flower Show to an ambitious new wilding project at West Chevington on the shore of Druridge Bay.
We chat to Duncan Hutt, Director of Conservation at Northumberland Wildlife Trust about the Trust’s new wilding site at West Chevington; a 700 plus acre project monitoring biodiversity in both active and natural wilding projects. We also caught up with Professor Alastair Driver, Director of Rewilding Britain, about the amazing ‘A Rewilding Britain Landscape’ garden designed by Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt which won Best of Show at the ‘world cup of gardening’ – the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Duncan Hutt is Director of Conservation for Northumberland Wildlife Trust. He has worked there for over 25 years in various roles and has been involved in numerous habitat and species projects over that time. In recent years he has been heading up the conservation and land management team for the Trust and had been responsible for the acquisition new sites where the Trust is going to apply wilding principles in their management.
Prof Alastair Driver is one of the UK’s best known conservationists and is cited in “Who’s Who” for influence and distinction in the field of environmental conservation. In May 2022 he was included in the ENDS Power List of the 100 UK environmental professionals who have made the greatest impact in the UK over the last two years. He is one of the country’s leading proponents of rewilding and is an expert naturalist and ecologist with 44 years’ professional experience and many hundreds of conservation projects under his belt.
He became the first Conservation Officer for the Thames catchment in 1984 and went on to become the National Head of Conservation for the Environment Agency for England and Wales from 2002 – 2016.
Since Jan 2017, he has been the Director of Rewilding Britain and plays a key role in influencing government environmental policy at the highest level and establishing rewilding projects in England and Wales.
Alastair also holds several pro bono roles, including Hon Prof at Univ of Exeter and Specialist Advisor for the National Trust. In Jan 2022 he was appointed to the inaugural Natural England Landscape Advisory Panel and is a member of the London Rewilding Task Force.