After being inspired by a trip to see Alan Watson and the Trees for Life project in Scotland (see DoD 2), a few EF!ers from the South Downs set themselves up to buy back land for the wilderness. ‘The Wilderness!’ now has people working away from the Hebrides to Hastings. This article seeks to explain why some EF!ers are doing something they pledged never to do - go fund-raising.
The Great Taiga forest is being pushed out of Scotland. The Oak woodlands are now but tiny islands, zoos for day trippers. All that is left of Caladon is a few sparse patches and the mountains are near soil-less. The rivers are either being systematically damned so that their energy be diverted into toasters and powerlines or used as holding tanks to irrigate the cities’ ever more demanding population. British Man killed off the Brown bears in the 10th century, Beavers in the 13th, the wild boar in the 16th and the wolf lost its last strongholds in the wilds of Scotland in the 18th. We live in one of the biggest ecological disasters in the world!
Yet in every one of those wind beaten trees there is the spirit of the Wilderness struggling constantly to grow and live. These islands can be saved, not by civilised man but by the Wilderness itself-if only we would leave it to itself. ‘The Wilderness!’ has been set up to take land back from civilisation and to do just that- Leave it alone.
We would wish to see this island swathed once again in the lush verdure of an all-encompassing rage of life. Only wilderness has the ability to regulate the rhythm of life, the constantly diversifying force that pulses through the rivers of the forest and the veins of the people. The destruction of Wilderness in this country has led to the destruction of the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical well being of its human inhabitants. We are isolated within our concrete cities and our wheat filled countryside, from the wilderness that was and should forever be our mentor.
All living things are adapted to and adapt their environment. As long as this adaptation is in balance there is not a problem. However civilised humans want things all their own way, we seek to dominate, not co-operate.
The Wilderness must exist. Not because we can use it, learn from it, admire its beauty and power, although we could do all these things; but because we do not have any right to exploit it. Woodland Management, forest gardening and the like are all essential if we are to survive as a species, but alongside this there must be wilderness. If wilderness disappears, we will be left with a system simplified by man and weaken to the point where our own survival is in jeopardy. In the future we will have new questions which only the wilderness can answer.
With the above in mind we will make no compromise to any group, lobby or individual. This ‘organisation’ is about the wilderness. If we allow one seemingly innocuous activity to start, we open the door to others via debate.
Do not worry about centralism. We will not decide what to do, we will only ensure to the best of our ability that no-one else does. Nature will make the changes. No human activity will be allowed on the land of the wilderness till either humans have learnt to live wild or until the concept of land ownership falls. Until we ourselves are wild again, we have nothing useful to contribute except the end product of all our toil, strife and destruction:- Money (yuk!). Please make your checks payable to ‘The Wilderness!’ (address in contact list ).
If you can spare some time, find suitable land in you area and tell us of it. This will save us time and money, enabling us to buy more land!
Money will not be wasted on pretty magazines, if you want to see the land bought we will give you a map and you may see it for yourself . All the information we have (except names and addresses of those who wish to stay anonymous) is open for you to view, either by calling into the office or by post if you cover the cost.
Remember ‘The Wilderness’ is not a front for Earth First! - EF! is a front for wilderness.