[Full Interview] Rewilding - with Derek Gow
With his hilariously sharp-witted, no-nonsense approach and radiating descriptions of nature’s landscapes, Derek Gow is a force to contend with.
He’s been one of the most vocal actors in the reintroduction of missing keystone species in England such as the beaver, the water vole and the white stork, butting heads with obnoxious lobbyists and government officials. He is currently rewilding his 300-acre farm on the Devon/Cornwall border where the Eurasian lynx, wild boar and harvest mice make home.
Our conversation ranges from the obstacles that prevent society in re-introducing critical species, all the way to Elizabethan fat bishops and voles that Gorgonzola river banks for other species to thrive. What is the mindset that sees all of land as "mine"? When were wolves seen as Gods, and what would it have been like to be a medieval traveller coming across one of these creatures “sodden like a Michelin man on a country path”? What barbarities have we committed against other species, and why should you think twice when buying herds of prehistoric Heck cattle?
Yep, this is a fun and brilliant one. (Listener tip: Derek packs more into a sentence that I could hope to do in a lifetime. Play at 1.5x at your own peril!)
Episode Website Link: lifeworld.earth/episodes/rewildingderekgow
- Lifeworlds Resource Page: Rewilding
- An Ark For Vanished Wildlife: Derek Gow in the New Yorker
- Derek’s Books ‘Bringing Back the Beaver’ & ‘Birds, Beasts and Bedlam’
- Derek’s Twitter
- Beavers Given Legal Protection in England
- Beaver just doesn’t quit (must watch!)
Look out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes.
Music: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd