For two million years or more humans have been a predator within a functional ecosystem. For the last 10,000 years or so we have been able to significantly modify our landscape with ever more sophisticated tools to produce most of our food and fibre from agriculture instead of hunting and gathering. Gradually we have lost our connection to what nature can provide, what our bodies need to be healthy and what it is to be a human animal. A lot's gone wrong in that time.

HUMANS ARE WILD ANIMALS

Our genes are wired to eat the diet of a hunter gatherer, including as many wild herbs, plants and wild meats as possible. Producing these foods will help us counter balance the inevitable increase on efficient but unhealthy agricultural foods.

Our bodies crave functional purposeful movement and the thrill of hunting down prey, not the mindless pounding a treadmill for an hour every night in a brightly lit gym.

Our hormones need the smell and touch the earth and the natural rhythms of dawn and dusk, not a sterile fake world filled with digital overload and fluorescent lights.

Our nerves need exposure to the hardship and fear of survival situations, not the constant low level stress of worrying about money.

Our children need the freedom to explore, take risks, get dirty and get tired, not the distraction of television or ‘action’ of an addictive game console.

Our society is in need of big natural open spaces, places where it's still possible to relax and unwind, not simply 'zone out' with distractions like television, drugs or alcohol. 

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REVITALISING COMMUNITIES

The skills required to bunch and move livestock without the use of fences requires a renaissance of traditional skills such as droving and herding. Long lost wisdom will need to be relearned as we begin to remember how to manage the health of livestock without the use of medicine, cereals or intervention.

The supervision of livestock, the active management of habitats and the monitoring of progress will create a need for simple ‘bothy’ style accommodation, shelter and storage. What could be better than repurposing some of the redundant stone cottages and traditional buildings of a lost living landscape? Revitalising our forgotten infrastructure will require traditional building skills and a renaissance of our countryside’s heritage.

HUNT AND GATHER

 

To keep the right balance between native and managed herbivores for ecological equanimity will need us to become true hunters again.

Unlike single species sport shooting, wilderculture embraces a ‘hunt and gather’ approach. Within clearly set out management parameters, a skilled wildlife manager will harvest a range of seasonal game and plants in a way that supports applying the principles of ‘survival of the fittest’ to mimic nature’s own patterns of natural selection.

Weak or sick animals will be humanely despatched but left to feed the all-important scavengers and benefit the nutrient cycling in the soil.

Managers can accompany paying visitors who want to reconnect with their ‘wild side’ and provide for their families with nutrient dense meals. Butchers, food producers, accommodation providers, hunters, foragers, guides, surveyors, ecologists, builders, renewable resource experts, wildlife reintroduction and monitoring experts, educators, nature schools and many more people could become involved in Wilderculture projects.

 

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