In Scotland’s Search for Native Roots, A Push to Restore Wild Lands


    • As Scotland asserts its identity and its autonomy,
      environmentalists are working to restore its denuded landscape – planting native forests, creating wildlife corridors, and reintroducing species that were wiped out centuries ago.
      by caroline fraser



    • … beneath the superficially peaceful surface of Scotland simmers a longstanding discontent. Politically, the country is roiled by nationalism, fully engaged in “devolution,” the process of hedged independence set in motion a decade ago, when citizens voted in 1997 


      …. On the ground, Scots are as restive with an Anglicized landscape as they are with Anglo rule. “Who owns Scotland?” cries Rob McMorran, coordinator of a group of activists known as the Scottish Wild Land Group.


    • …Environmental groups are buying hunting estates to reforest; private landowners are experimenting with native planting; beaver have been reintroduced after decades of debate. Many such projects fall under the rubric of “rewilding”—the conservation method of restoring core wilderness areas, maintaining corridors between them for wildlife to migrate and disperse, and reintroducing top predators.



Gardener William Bartram: The Search for Nature’s Design


    • William Bartram (1739-1823) was much more than a botanist.  He was an influential philosopher and thinker in colonial America whose unorthodox views of life’s interconnectedness filtered through his interests in nature and exploration…


    • Correspondence included in The Search for Nature’s Design traces Bartram’s botanical adventures in chronology.  His previously unpublished papers cover botany, medicine, geography, gardening, native culture, slavery, environmental protection, commerce, aesthetics, philosophy, and religion.  Illuminated journal entries and botanical illustrations depict the natural detail of the 18th-century America Bartram observed.



Natural-Landscaping: Lorrie Otto, founder of Wild Ones

    • To Lorrie Otto, the manicured expanse of green surrounding most homes is the root of environmental evil she’s spent decades trying to stamp out.


    • She founded Wild Ones, a natural-landscaping advocacy group in Wisconsin, of which she’s still a board member. And she continues to be an advocate for natural landscaping and protecting the Earth.


    • When Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” came out in 1962, documenting the damage chemical pesticides did to birds’ eggs and criticizing government officials for unquestioningly accepting chemical-company propaganda, Otto’s campaign against DDT got a boost.


    • “When my husband came home with a New Yorker under his arm and said they were serializing ‘Silent Spring,’ I remember dancing around the house thinking: Now everyone will know about DDT,” Otto said.


    • “I was just one person,” she says. “Yet, I was the catalyst.”



Naturalism or Prettied-up Countryside? Is Rural Landscape is a fiction?

A native digs deep with relish…

“The English sticks have been subjected to a makeover, a wash and brush up. Dirt farms have turned into clean farms. Canals in desuetude have been redug and refilled. Cottages have been restored to a state of “authenticity”.”