A radical project in the UK known as WildEast aims to give back some 250,000 hectares (600,000 acres) of East Anglia to wildlife over the next 50 years. This number represents one-fifth of the entire region’s landmass. The goal is to restore biodiversity in one of Europe’s most heavily-farmed regions by creating one of the world’s largest restored nature reserves. Achieving this will require the buy-in of thousands of people of all walks of life, which some say is both the project’s biggest challenge and its greatest potential for transformative success. “We’re trying to democratize nature and the preservation of it,” said Hugh Somerleyton, one of the founders of the movement. This project follows in the footsteps of several other re-wilding projects in Europe, all of which aim to improve biodiversity. It is unique in that it seeks to build a grassroots movement that encourages people from all walks of life to re-wild their land.

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