sheep grazing

European Research Reveals Benefits of ‘Agricultural Rewilding’ of Landscapes

English and French researchers have published a study that suggests rewilding landscapes can help to restore ecosystems and produce high-welfare, high-quality food. The researchers say “agricultural rewilding” involves restoring ecosystems via the introduction, management, and production of livestock with domestic species (typically hardy, native breeds) acting as analogues for their wild counterparts. Co-author Virginia Thomas explains, “Domestic livestock can be present in the landscape, restoring biodiversity and regenerating ecosystem function, while still contributing to agricultural production where their lives are lived to high welfare and environmental standards and their deaths provide high-quality meat, thus contributing to food self-sufficiency and reducing the outsourcing of food production to systems with higher environmental impacts. Meanwhile, management of livestock allows for continued active human intervention in the landscape, thereby supporting rural livelihoods and communities.”