Most sporting estates and hill farmers will agree; it’s HARD to make money from upland land holdings. Land owners tend to either be drawn towards the conservation, tourism and renewable energy end of the scale, or the lucrative but exclusive sport of hunting wild game, grouse and pheasant. The two don’t mix well. This has led to a significant limit in progress towards uplands that are rich in nature, financially viable and supports vibrant communities. We need uplands to produce nutritious food to relieve some pressure on a planet under the strain of feeding billions of people.

WHAT ARE THE OPTIONS?

‘Rewilding’ offers enormous ecological potential, but in a world where individuals and businesses are not yet paying for the ‘true cost’ of their actions, who is going to compensate the land owners for the provision of this natural capital? Someone needs to cover these externalities. 

Farming, forestry and shooting offer a temporary way of making the uplands economically viable but it often leads to widespread 'mining' of our soil, diversity and a reduction of people working and living on the land; it's only a matter of decades before the resource is 'spent.'

Tourism can help but alone it's not a sustainable answer. The exchange of money for services is - in Holistic Management - referred to as ‘paper currency;’ a highly unstable form of income that can be easily affected by changes in Government policy, social trends and environmental fluctuations.

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SOURCE OF MONEY

 

Tourism can be a good help but is an unreliable form of generating revenue and does little to create a genuinely sustainable thriving local community. Tourism is seasonal, most hospitality businesses rely on foreign workers who are temporarily housed in staff quarters. Local people often move away to seek permanent positions.

Subsidies are another example of ‘paper currency.’ This form of income is highly unstable and has been responsible for leading landowners into management that degrades their resource.

'Mineral' currency - often in the form of quarrying, mining and soil degrading conventional agriculture - is a highly unsustainable option that can not be renewed.

Solar currency, on the other hand represents income that's derived from the conversion of sunlight into a sale-able product in a way that does not ‘mine’ the original resource.

How can we find a ‘solar’ source of funding the provision of natural capital in the uplands. One that gives us all the benefits of massive biodiversity, truly sustainable communities and still produces food that is designed to keep us healthy, not simply ‘efficiently’ keep us alive?

WILDERCULURE

 

If you create a functional ecosystem that is complex and robust some ‘interest’ can be accumulated without dipping into the ‘bank account.’  

The difference between the Wilderculture approach and what went before, is that through a unique blend of holistic management, an understanding of ecology and a renaissance of pastoralist and countryside skills we can create an ecosystem that is abundant enough to provide for wildlife and humans. 

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