A conference hosted by the Royal Agricultural University and Cirencester College about Rewilding Conservation

Views from the developing field of rewilding conservation in the current UK context. Presenting new opportunities within a changing land management framework.

This conference will offer delegates the opportunity to discover the latest thinking and applications from some of the key professionals in rewilding conservation. It should appeal to conservationists, landowners, students and anyone interested in the topic.

The conference will cover a full day’s schedule of talks, with lunch and refreshments provided. There will also be an opportunity to join delegates for an evening meal at the RAU. Speakers confirmed as attending include:

  • Prof Alastair Driver (Specialist Advisor, Rewilding Britain): Rewilding in Britain - why, how and where?
  • Charlie Burrell (Knepp Castle Estate): Rewilding - a vision for the future
  • Nick Barter (DEFRA): The 25 year environment plan's approach to enhancing nature
  • Derek Gow:  Native species reintroduction projects
  • Dr David Hetherington: The Lynx and Us
  • Dr Andrew Stringer (Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust): The potential Pine Marten reintroduction to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley
  • Mark Elliott (Devon Wildlife Trust): Lessons from the Devon Wildlife Trust Beaver projects
  • Christopher Price (Country Land and Business Association): Rewilding - the landowner's perspective
  • Dr Tony Whitbread (Sussex Wildlife Trust): Monitoring the ecological successes of the Knepp Estate
  • Sara King and Cain Blythe (Ecosulis): Monitoring Rewilding Projects
  • Sacha Dench will be chairing a panel debate at the end of the day's talks
  • Lucy Meredith (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Royal Agricultural University)

About Us

The Royal Agricultural University and Cirencester Sixth Form College have been jointly delivering foundation degrees in British Wildlife Conservation and Environmental Conservation and Heritage Management since 2008, the BSc Wildlife and Countryside Management since 2016, and the new foundation degree in Animal Science.

The impetus to host a conference on rewilding arose from the topic's popularity with our students. Previously we have run trips to the Devon Beaver Project and the Knepp Estate, and heard talks from Dr Andrew Stringer about pine marten reintroduction to the Forest of Dean. Many of our third year BSc students investigate rewilding issues for their dissertations.

The organising team comprise:

Dr Ian Grange - Senior Lecturer in Environment and Countryside Management, Royal Agricultural University

Dr Kelly Swallow - Lecturer in Ecology and Agro-ecosystems, Royal Agricultural University

Stephanie Masefield - Lecturer, School of Earth and Animal Sciences, Cirencester Sixth Form College

Dr Jane Fern - Manager of Higher Education and Strategic Development, Cirencester Sixth Form College

Buy Tickets

We regretfully inform you that the conference has now sold out. We are no longer accepting applications for the waiting list.

Cirencester College is an Ofsted 'outstanding’' college in a rural setting on the outskirts of Cirencester, Gloucestershire.  One of only three designated specialist Sixth Form Colleges in the South West, Cirencester College is one of the top ranking Sixth Form Colleges in the country.

The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has been at the forefront of agricultural education and a key contributor to the land-based sector for more than 170 years. Today, the RAU has more than 1,200 students studying agriculture, animal science, business, environment, equine science, farm management, food, real estate and rural land management.


Ecosulis specialises in Habitat Creation and Biodiversity Assessment. We have over 25 years experience within the industry, and utilise this to deliver high quality biodiversity projects. We have links through both Bristol University and Oxford University, and develop innovative biodiversity assessment methods through these relationships. This includes the use of block chain technology, drones and Internet of Things, and our Biodiversity Quality Calculator.

The Biodiversity Quality Calculator was created by Dr Alan Feest and is an innovative tool to quantify ecological functionality. The programme is unique in its measurement of the functional characteristics of biodiversity enabling change in biodiversity quality to be assessed for statistical significance. This method has been utilised in a variety of difference ways, to include measuring the impact management techniques have on biodiversity, measuring the effect of species re-introductions including beavers and pine martens, and biodiversity and health assessments for open space. Biodiversity Assessment methods are also utilised on our habitat creation projects to measure the effect these projects have on biodiversity, and to inform whether targets have been met. We work with a range of clients including the Environment Agency.

Stratton House is a stylish base to explore Cirencester and the surrounding villages of the Cotswolds. Lovingly refurbished into a beautiful country house hotel. Our 42 bedrooms are elegantly styled to make you want to stay longer. From afternoon teas & Sunday lunches to family celebrations, you will find a variety of mouth-watering dishes to tempt you.

European Beaver - Castor Fiber
Pine Marten - Martes Martes