Nature with Attitude is a brand new consultancy, exploring attitudes to all the slippery issues relating to wildlife conservation and environmental change.
Consultants, Rick Minter and Alison Parfitt, believe that solving environmental challenges depends on how successfully communities and decision makers work together.
As facilitators, they work with residents and collaborate with all sorts of practitioners, such as ecologists and artists, to understand how people relate to nature in a particular place. They believe this is crucial in order to maintain areas where there are multiple interests ñ where a certain species may be reintroduced or controversial breeds are already being managed. For example, the organisation is currently running workshops and discussions relating to the return of the lynx ñ a species once native to Britain’s shores.
‘Whether the Eurasian lynx returns will depend, not on biological conditions but on us ñ our attitudes and our collective psyche,’ Rick explained. ‘Although some people are wary of living alongside predators, thinking that they will prey on livestock or pets, others see a critter like a lynx as a way of rewilding the human soul and the landscape. Places could be rebranded as lynx territory and this profile could add to the growth of green tourism.
‘In Europe, where communities live alongside lynx already, systems have been put in place to address any problems ñ farmers are fully compensated for any lost livestock and foresters or game keepers can adjust their deer management plans accordingly.
‘Many people ask whether our society and landscape has become too tame, too safe and too bland? The re-establishment of wild boar to certain parts of our countryside has already demonstrated that we are not always in control and that this might be good for the human condition. There is real, growing interest in the more elemental side of life ñ in finding deeper, richer experiences from the land and from nature. I don’t have a firm view on it but knowing there were lynx close by, even though we’d be unlikely to ever see one, could fire our wild side.’
Contact: Nature with Attitude
Tel: +44 (0)1242 584982
Image: Alison Parfitt on a rewilding project in Sussex among free-foraging Tamworth Pigs