Best Herbivores to Rewild Britain

My guess is that the logical sequence would be sectioning out land for rewilding. Then you rotate herbivores through the area, they rebuild the foundations. Along with beavers. After that, it’s time for the large predators

The idea of rewilding in the UK, which involves reintroducing native species and restoring natural ecosystems, has gained popularity in recent years. When considering herbivores for rewilding, it’s important to select species that historically inhabited the region and can help restore and maintain the natural balance of ecosystems. Here are some herbivores that could be considered for rewilding efforts in Britain:

  1. European Bison (Bison bonasus): The European bison, or wisent, is a keystone herbivore that once roamed the UK. Reintroducing these massive animals can help restore natural landscapes, particularly in woodlands and wetlands.
  2. Beavers (Castor fiber): Beavers are ecosystem engineers that play a crucial role in creating wetlands, which benefit biodiversity, improve water quality, and mitigate flooding. Beavers have already been successfully reintroduced to some parts of the UK.
  3. Wild Boar (Sus scrofa): Wild boar were once native to the UK and can contribute to the natural dynamics of woodlands and forests. Their rooting behavior can help promote regrowth of native vegetation.
  4. Red Deer (Cervus elaphus): Red deer are already a native species in the UK and are important herbivores for maintaining the health of woodlands and upland ecosystems.
  5. Highland Cattle (Bos taurus): These hardy cattle are well-suited for grazing in rugged and hilly landscapes. They can help manage grasslands and maintain open habitats.
  6. Konik Ponies (Equus ferus caballus): Konik ponies are small, hardy horses originally from Poland. They have been used for grazing in rewilding projects and can help maintain grasslands and wetlands.
  7. Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus): Roe deer are small and adaptable herbivores that can play a role in shaping the understory of woodlands.
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It’s important to carefully plan and manage rewilding efforts, taking into account the ecological impact of reintroducing or supporting these herbivores. Each species should be introduced in a way that is sustainable and benefits the broader ecosystem. Additionally, local communities and landowners should be involved in the decision-making process to ensure the success and acceptance of rewilding initiatives.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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