Rewilding is a method of restoring living systems, primarily through allowing and supporting the natural world to flourish – including plants, insects and native animals (especially ones at threat of extinction) as well as soil and water systems. It also acts as a natural climate solution to draw carbon from the air and is therefore a complementary strategy to the decarbonisation of our economy.
Rewilding Camden is a community-led rewilding project supporting the transformation of unused patches of ground across Camden into thriving green, socially inclusive spaces. In September 2019, we worked closely with Raglan’s tenants’ and residents’ association to launch our pilot project – Rewilding Camden: Growing Raglan – on the Raglan housing estate; in partnership with Camden Council, Transition Kentish Town and Climate Emergency Camden .
We plan over the coming years to undertake similar rewilding activities across Camden Council’s housing estates and to share our collective experiences with communities more broadly. In doing so, we aim to strengthen our natural biodiversity, contribute to ecological restoration, deepen our community connections and transform our relationships with the rest of the natural world.
In 2019, Camden Council declared a climate emergency and convened a participatory citizens assembly to discuss how we move forward to address ecological and climate crises. These actions were a significant step towards the recognition of the urgent local and global climate and ecological issues that have already been caused, and will continue to be exacerbated by, our current industrial practices and economic system.
As governments must take a leading role in implementing systemic change, we believe that Camden Council is well-placed to support widespread community rewilding efforts due to its land ownership and management role, and contribute to ecological restoration across the borough. It is also essential to acknowledge that communities in vulnerable positions in society, including groups with lower socio-economic power, are generally the least responsible for ecological and climate breakdown but the most likely to suffer its adverse effects. Such groups must be supported to lead this process to ensure an inclusive and just transition. Focusing on council housing estates can provide opportunities for such leadership and wider community engagement to emerge and flourish.
Camden’s Citizen Assembly output:
We are addressing several of the outputs of Camden’s recent Citizen’s Assembly. We know a lot of folk are interested in ‘doing their bit’ to help address the Climate and Ecological Emergency in Camden.
- Planting hedgerows,
- Creating a wildflower meadow to attract the birds and the bees
- Grow fruit locally to eat
- Several community event days
“Rewilding Camden is to rewild every spare space in Camden.”