What is Rewilding Anyway? Episode 3: Neil Heseltine


Photo: Stephen Garnett

In the third episode of the podcast, I speak to Neil Heseltine, a farmer based at Hill Top Farm in Malham, the Yorkshire Dales.

Neil is already diversifying his farm for the benefit of wildlife, moving away from sheep to Belted Galloway cattle. Much of the talk around rewilding centres on the uplands in Britain, but what could or does this mean for the rural communities that already live and work there? Neil shares his views of this and more in the interview.


5 thoughts on “What is Rewilding Anyway? Episode 3: Neil Heseltine

  1. Excellent podcast with Neil Heseltine which demonstrates that biodiversity, farm incomes and social capital in the countryside can coexist and be mutually beneficial for all stake holders. The voice of thoughtful, quietly spoken reason that is the antidote to the shouty rewilding spin that seeks to grab its 15 minutes of fame. Hoorah!

    • Can you point me towards this ‘rewilding spin’, Sarah? All I see are people who are passionate and fed up of seeing the land mismanaged, at the expense of nature and humans. We know that they can be mutually beneficial, but how many people are actually putting this in to practice? RSPB’s report from 206 should have been a huge wake up call, but it wasn’t. How long do we wait for landowners to put the environment and biodiversity ahead of profits? Do you genuinely think people haven’t tried ‘quitely spoken reason’ to organisations like the NFU?

      • I am a small scale women farmer and writer in West Cornwall who is quietly working to improve biodiversity and welfare on my organic holding. I play a very small part in working towards bringing all countryside stakeholders together to find mutually beneficial and inclusive solutions. I was speaking in praise of the thoughtful podcasts you are producing which I felt were positively in contrast to some of the unhelpful comments made by a platform hijacked by some prominent rewilders and landowners. I refrain from naming individuals because that is unhelpful. Yes, I agree that the RSPB report is a call to arms and that the NFU is something of a dinosaur. The language of the pastoral/nature dialogue has and continues to be largely masculine, the ‘lone, white, middle class, enraptured male’ which at best is a little unfortunate and at worst alienating for the rest of us. Your comment ‘Do I genuinely think…..’ is the knub of the problem, one kind of punctum that sets apart. You might not have noticed but in fact their is a quiet grassroots network of individuals really trying to put nature first.

  2. My apologies and good hear it was not you…… I shall refrain from saying what I really thought of the above comments 😂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s