In any given week the odds are good that I’ll see deer, buzzards, woodpeckers, kestrels, rabbits, countless small birds, and pipistrelle bats, and that I’ll hear owls. I’ll see orchids in season. Foxes, slow worms, ravens, little grebe, butterflies, moths and dragonflies in season, herons, kingfishers, and rodents, are likely, but not as frequent spots. Otters, sparrowhawks, owl sightings, badgers, hedgehogs, snakes, unusual fungi and dorbenton bats are possible, but less common.
You might imagine from this that I live on a nature reserve. I don’t, I live in a town. The wildlife I see, for the greater part lives in the town as well, although the orchids tend to be more on the margins. I know where the green corridors are, and so do all the other wild things.
I know from observation that most of the human population around me is fairly oblivious to the considerable non-human population. We tend to believe that nature is away, other, exotic, somewhere else, that we are not part of it. We may believe that we have conquered nature and kept it at bay, even as the jackdaws on the roof, the rat in the shrubbery and the grasshoppers in the lawn go about their business.
The things we’re oblivious to, we tend not to care about. Rewilding is not, therefore, just about giving more space over to the wild things, but about giving ourselves over to the experience of wild things that are already sharing our environment. They are with us. We are not magically hived off from nature. The only real separation is caused by a curious human inability to see what is right in front of us.