Rewilding the UK - Potential and Obstacles


Rewilding has been an increasingly popular topic in environmental news and science. Heralded by some as a paradigm shift in conservation, it aims at restoring the autonomy of natural spaces, usually by employing animals as agents of ecological processes.

Dr Ada Grabowska-Zhang will explore the details and caveats behind the term and inspect the scientific background for the rewilding framework.

The UK has a long history of nature conservation – usually focusing on species or habitat preservation. Rewilding poses practical and philosophical challenges for the conservation sector. Dr Keith Kirby will reflect on whether conservationists in the UK have been able to reinstate the autonomy of ecological processes in the past 20 years.

We will also hear from Rebecca Wrigley, the CEO of Rewilding Britain – a conservation charity aiming to promote rewilding as an effective way to reach climate goals, reconnect people with nature and restore strong communities.

The speakers will join a panel discussion to explore the future of rewilding as a conservation strategy in the UK.

Programme details

9.45am: Registration

10.00am: Rewilding – ecological functioning as basis for conservation, Ada Grabowska-Zhang

11.15am: Coffee/tea

11.35am: Can the conservation sector learn to let nature go wild – reflections from the last 20 years, Keith Kirby

1.00pm: Lunch

2.00pm: Mainstreaming rewilding: autonomy in land and marine management, Rebecca Wrigley

3.15pm: Coffee/tea

3.45pm: Panel discussion about the future of rewilding in the UK, all speakers

5.00pm: Course disperses


Description Costs
Tuition - in-person attendance £80.00
Tuition - virtual attendance £80.00
Baguette Lunch £5.50


Dr Ada Grabowska-Zhang

Course Director & Speaker

Ada is an ecologist and has researched behavioural ecology and conservation - and a keen vegetable gardener. She is a lecturer in Biological Sciences at Brasenose College and a tutor in the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.

Dr Keith Kirby



Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.

IT requirements

You can opt to attend this hybrid teaching event either online (via a livestream) or in person at Rewley House, Oxford. You will be given the option of how you wish to attend during the enrolment process. You can only pick one option. If your preferred attendance format is fully booked, you can email us to be put on the waiting list.

For those joining us online

The University of Oxford uses Microsoft Teams for our learning environment. If you’re attending online, you’ll be able to see and hear the speakers, and to submit questions via the Teams interface. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

If you have not used the Microsoft Teams app before, once you click the joining link you will be invited to download it (this is free). Once you have downloaded the app, please test before the start of your course. If you are using a laptop or desktop computer, you will also be offered the option of connecting using a web browser. If you connect via a web browser, Chrome is recommended.

Please note that this course will not be recorded.