Rewilding keynote – busting the myths and making it happen
Prof Alastair Driver, Rewilding Britain
Prof Driver has been at the forefront of the rewilding movement since it hit the headlines over 6 years ago and is major influence on rewilding policy and practice in his capacity as Director of Rewilding Britain. In this presentation he busts a few myths about rewilding, provides an update on the latest rewilding initiatives in Britain and explains the pros and cons of reintroducing various species. He also illustrates, using images of pioneering projects which he has been involved with and compelling data he has collected, how rewilding can genuinely benefit the economy and society as a whole.
Conservationist – Rewilder – Explorer
Prof Alastair Driver is one of the UK’s best known conservationists and is cited in “Who’s Who” for influence and distinction in the field of environmental conservation. In May 2022 he was included in the ENDS Power List of the top 100 UK environmental professionals who have made the greatest impact in the UK over the last two years.
Alastair was also the recipient of the world’s largest environmental award – the International Riverprize – on behalf of the Thames, in 2010 and a key member of the team which won Best in Show for their Rewilding Garden at the Royal Flower Show, Chelsea in 2022.
He is one of the country’s leading proponents of rewilding and is an expert naturalist and ecologist with 44 years’professional experience and many hundreds of conservation projects under his belt.
He became the first Conservation Officer for the Thames catchment in 1984 and went on to become the National Head of Conservation for the Environment Agency for England and Wales from 2002 – 2016.
Since Jan 2017, he has been the Director of Rewilding Britain and plays a key role in influencing government environmental policy at the highest level and establishing rewilding projects in England and Wales.
Alastair also holds several pro bono roles, including Hon Prof at Univ of Exeter and Specialist Advisor for the National Trust. In Jan 2022 he was appointed to the inaugural Natural England Landscape Advisory Panel and is a member of the London Rewilding Task Force.