Businesses to take a walk on the Rewilding side

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Businesses in the North East are preparing to welcome leading naturalist and TV presenter Chris Packham to discuss rewilding at a conference on 18 September.

Delegates will hear about the latest thinking in rewilding and nature conservation, the principle of reinstating natural processes and missing species, and explore ways businesses can support this important work while identifying opportunities.

The “Rewilding The Future” conference, which is being held at the Marriot Hotel in Gateshead on 18 September, is being organised by Durham-based not-for-profit company Climate Action North East.

Around 100 representatives from the business world are expected to attend and it is sponsored by Resilient Business Systems, with support from organisations including WWT Washington, IEMA, Mohl Stephenson, JDM Earth and many more to be confirmed.

Sharon Lashley, Managing Director at Climate Action North East, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Chris as our guest speaker at this conference. Chris’s passion and expertise on rewilding is renowned and it’s a real privilege that he’ll be spending the day with us to share his thoughts on this important subject.

“Rewilding is defined as the mass restoration of ecosystems and to achieve this goal on the scale that’s needed, rewilding must be on the agenda and minds of everyone in a position to implement rewilding; this could include almost anybody, not least those in the business world. This conference gives us a genuine opportunity to explore how rewilding can offer business benefits and opportunities.”

The event will launch with a networking session over breakfast followed by the event sponsors welcoming Chris Packham before he goes on to do a book signing of Fingers in the Sparkle Jar, which has recently been voted the UK’s Favourite Nature Book.

Everyone will also get the chance to take part in three hacks to look at the barriers and challenges of rewilding; the successes and achievements; and future collaboration and partnerships for rewilding projects.

Following lunch, Chris will take to the stage to deliver two talks addressing rewilding issues and opportunities in the UK.

Chris said: “Every square metre of our landscapes has been modified over the years and now it’s undoubtedly failing in terms of the species that should be living and thriving there.

“Addressing the loss of biodiversity and rectifying the problems in our landscapes is now the focus we need to take. There are no quick fixes, so the coordinated and cohesive approach to rewilding that businesses in the North East are looking to take is heartening, and I’m very much looking forward to being part of this exciting conference.”

The conference takes place from 8.30am to 4pm on Tuesday 18 September at the Newcastle Gateshead Marriott Hotel MetroCentre. Refreshments and lunch will be provided, and all delegates will receive a copy of the Fingers in the Sparkle Jar book.

Tickets cost £65 and can be booked here.