How much does wild nature mean to you?

I’ve come to loathe the compromises, the excuses given for why anything less than a sound ecological approach and outcome to restoration of wild nature is acceptable, that it’s just a spectrum of wildness and any point on the continuum is a start. I don’t know why having an idealist or purist attitude has become a legitimate criticism when compromise only benefits people over wild nature; when there is never any intention to move up the continuum. Where is the morality in that, the ethical commitment that recognises the ecological reality? Empathy for wild nature must always be at the high end of the ethical spectrum and should never be dragged down and diluted by anthropocentrism and its mechanisms of domination.

The future is looking a bit uncertain for the kauri (Agathis australis) a native tree of New Zealand that is suffering dieback from infection by a water-mould disease (Phytophthora agathidicida) that only affects kauri, and for which there is no cure (1,2). The kauri is a tall, evergreen conifer (30-60m) sometimes forming kauri-dominated forests. The mature tree, often with a bare trunk, is probably only recognisable if you are familiar with species in the two other groups in the family Araucariaceae, and which include the Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis) and the Chilean pine or monkey-puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) (2,3). The effects of the soil-borne pathogen causing dieback were first seen in 2006 in a forest west of Auckland on regenerating and mature kauri trees (1). It is spread by soil and soil water movement; by plant to plant transmission through underground root-to-root contact; and by humans and animals like feral pigs (1,2,4). The symptoms of the die back include yellowing of foliage, loss of leaves, canopy thinning, dead branches, and lesions that bleed resin that sometimes girdle the trunk as a collar rot (2,5). Kauri dieback can kill trees and seedlings of all ages. The consequence of dieback is considerably greater than the ash dieback that we suffer here and in Europe (6) as the kauri is an endemic tree, only found now in a restricted range of the northern districts of New Zealand’s North Island, and particularly the Northland Peninsula, a forested, subtropical region framed by the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea; the Auckland Region; the Coromandel Peninsula; and Great Barrier and Waiheke Islands (2,7). Thus once it is lost from North Island New Zealand, it is lost forever.

Close off walking tracks where there was a high risk of kauri dieback

Recognising the potential threat to the future of kauri, a tree once over-harvested and burnt (8,9) the Kauri Dieback Program partnership was formed in 2009 between central government, local government and Maori land interests, its focus over the first nine months of the program was to learn more about the disease and how to manage it, to put protection in place within the forests by upgrading tracks and cleaning practices and facilities at forest entrances and exits, and getting information and supporting tools out to forest users in the form of fact sheets and signs as well as publicity on bus shelters (10). The Department of Conservation (DOC) in New Zealand took responsibility for protecting kauri on public conservation land, and other land it managed, by surveying the entire network of DOC-managed tracks in kauri forests, identifying 186 tracks for possible upgrade or closure, and embarking on a program of upgrading tracks to protect kauri roots and eliminate wet and muddy sections, developing and installing cleaning stations, and introducing initiatives to change people’s behaviour, as the evidence had shown that people were the main vector for the disease (11,12). In addition, both DOC and the Kauri Dieback Program gave guidance on how to stop the spread of the disease in Controlled Areas that included cleaning all soil off footwear and other gear every time before entry and after leaving an area with native trees, and at every cleaning station; using disinfectant only after removal of all the soil; stay on track and off kauri roots, as these roots can extend out three times wider than the canopy; and spread the word within networks on how to stop kauri dieback (13,14).

In May, 2018, Auckland Council closed high-risk tracks in a number of areas under its supervision, including the Waitākere Ranges (15,16). It also issued Controlled Area Notices under the Biosecurity Act 1993 that require visitors to open areas to follow mandatory biosecurity hygiene standards when visiting a controlled area, signs on the open tracks explaining what has to be done when entering or leaving an area, such as using all cleaning stations that are encountered (17,18). Also in 2018, DOC undertook a consultation on proposals to close off walking tracks where there was a high risk of kauri dieback (19). The potential closures were where there were low visitor numbers anyway, these being where there would be high costs in upgrading and ongoing maintenance, and there were similar walking experiences that could obtained elsewhere in the vicinity. Subsequently, the decision to fully or partially close tracks was announced on October 2018, DOC listing 21 tracks across kauri land for permanent closure, and 10 tracks for partial closure in that sections of these tracks would be permanently closed, whereas other sections would be upgraded to protect kauri roots and to eliminate wet and muddy sections (20). Aside from that immediate and practical approach to the threats to kauri, the Kauri Dieback Program embarked on an extensive consultation encompassing 57 meetings in the period between June 2018 and March 2019 (21). Taking place across all the kauri lands, the consultation reached 1,000 people over three rounds, developing a strategy for protecting kauri and how to put it into practice, as well as a draft proposal for a National Pest Management Plan for Kauri Dieback, along with options for an agency to manage the Plan.

Given that level of attention to the threat that the disease poses, you might wonder why a person had to be charged last November for having entered a closed track in the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park three times in the preceding five months – the track had been closed by Auckland Council in May 2018 - when they would have had to have passed by the very obvious signs posted – “STOP! DO NOT ENTER, STRICTLY NO ACCESS. Area closed to combat spread of kauri dieback disease” (see photos in (22,23)). This person was scheduled to be in court a couple of weeks ago, prosecuted under the Public Safety and Nuisance Bylaw, and faced a fine of 20,000 NZD (10,158 GBP) for each of the three charges. It had already been reported, after the closures in May 2018, that trampers (hikers) who broke the rules, whether by trespassing onto closed tracks or ignoring use of the cleaning station where there was a Controlled Area Notice, faced hefty fines and more (24). In April last year, walkers were warned that Compliance officers from Auckland Council would be patrolling both open and closed tracks in the Waitākere Ranges over the Easter Weekend, but it still resulted in seven people being issued with trespass notices for flouting track closures, along with 50 warnings to people who allegedly actively ignored signs and barriers alerting visitors to the disease (25,26). Depressingly, 49 trespass notices had been issued in the months since that report, Steve Pearce, Auckland Council manager of regulatory compliance, saying - "Most Aucklanders have heard the message; they keep off closed tracks and use the cleaning stations so it’s disappointing a few continue to believe the rules are not for them" (22). Auckland mayor Phil Goff said that the prosecution - the first of its kind following the unprecedented track closures - reflected the "seriousness of the issue ….While most Aucklanders understand the need for temporary track closures to help stop the spread of dieback, those individuals who flout the rules with no regard for the damage they cause need to be held to account" (23).

Pearce had said that there would be an increased presence of Compliance officers and kauri dieback ambassadors educating visitors about the disease over the Christmas and New Year period in the Waitākere and Hunua Ranges, and in local parks where tracks had been closed (22,23). Thus between Christmas Day and 3 January 2020, kauri dieback ambassadors and Compliance officers interacted with more than 1,000 people (27). However, 14 people would be receiving Bylaw Breach and Trespass Notices banning them from those parks for up to two years, and another four can expect formal warnings, after hikers failed to heed signs and went onto tracks closed to prevent the spread of kauri dieback (27,28). Disturbingly, it was also reported that there was a rising incidence in vandalism, with closed area fences being cut, damaged or removed and dumped into streams (29). The regional parks manager for Auckland Council Rachel Kelleher said about this  – “It's disappointing a few selfish individuals are focused only on their own recreational pursuits. It's staggering the length a small number of people will go to for their own personal benefit. Their behaviour means staff focus and resources are diverted away from getting on with the work needed to reopen tracks for everyone to enjoy to repairing those that have been damaged" (27). In a separate report, Kelleher remarked that the culprits were mostly locals who knew they were breaching orders to stay off the tracks “The types of things we’ve heard is that they understand the issue but believe that they are able to manage themselves appropriately. Because they feel they can manage themselves appropriately, they believe they’ve got a different entitlement to others” (30). Pearce also likened this to a sense of entitlement, that people caught on closed tracks often believed they had a right to be there and the council had no right to enforce biosecurity rules introduced to protect kauri sites – "Generally it's people going, 'this is my local area, my forest, I'm allowed to be around here'. And you've also got a bunch of people who kind of think 'well, actually the council don't have the right to exclude me from this public area'. But there's a reason we're doing this, we're not doing it for just a bit of fun. Some areas are closed because they don't have kauri dieback, so they are pristine. The kauri seem to be thriving. So we're trying to protect those kauri that are still surviving really well. There are other kauri that are known to be infected and we're trying to prevent the spread of the disease from these areas to other areas” (28).

What would you do?

Some years ago I explained that I was no fan of much of the British landscape, but that I did have explicit views about what I like. It has to have the sensory thrill that comes from the visual coherency of it looking right, coupled with a physical intimacy from my being enveloped by complexity - the structural vegetation coupled with varied topography and geology that move the landscape up into the third dimension - and the attention and commitment of effort that is needed to navigate that complexity (31). Add in water in the way of rivers, lakes, and wetland, then there is movement, sound and visual stimuli as well as habitat. A simple explanation would be to say that I favour landscapes that are the most natural, the most wild, but it is also what is not there that is just as important. Thus a natural landscape is one that appears to be unaffected by human activity – it has none of our cultural artefacts (evidence of management, buildings, roads and boundaries) and it is in the control of natural processes that are beyond our cultural influence. I see now that my perspective omitted the presence of wild creatures, a realism about their paucity here, but which I would not omit now, even when their presence has to be imagined. Is this sense of wonder at wildness a solitary view, a statistical outlier? I have to argue that it isn’t, because there is too much evidence that it can be acquired if there is the genuine opportunity to be immersed in self-willed land. Thus John Miles, a lecturer on environmental studies for many decades in Washington State, wrote this only a few weeks ago when pondering conceptions of wildness and wilderness in America– “I have in the field experienced wildness, so I know it as a physical reality, not just as an idea or cultural construction” (32).

If, as I suspect, that a walk in forested kauri lands would satisfy much of my desire for a natural landscape experience, something that is immensely fundamental to my life (33,34) then I would be devastated to have lost access to it, but I would also be devastated to think that my presence there was putting that natural landscape at such risk. Thus it’s not a choice for me, to jeopardise nature in pursuit of my own self-interest, even though walking is a seemingly benign recourse in most circumstances when there is anyway so much open, deliberate and targeted persecution of wild nature (e.g. (35,36)). However, I felt challenged on this a while ago when I was faced with considering my motivation in walking wilderness. Just over a year ago, I wrote about a booklet I had received for review on refining the definition of wilderness (37). Written by three wilderness enthusiasts living in Tasmania, they wanted some feedback on their approach of placing experiential values of wilderness, that is, values associated with the human experience of wilderness, on a par with ecological values, such as the degree of biophysical naturalness. The main concern of my review of the booklet was the repeated references to indigenous people, allowing that the activities of indigenous people were compatible with their wilderness definition as long as they were hunter gatherers although they wrote in terms of group, population, society and community, but without some indication of numbers. I suggested that they needed a more rounded story in their defining of wilderness and the presence of indigenous people.

What I hadn’t seen until nearly a year afterwards was an already published review by Geoff Holloway in the Tasmanian Times that told me that this refinement of wilderness definition arose from differences in perspective amongst a group gathered together in Tasmania with the aim of addressing concerns that the term wilderness had been devalued through its misuse by both antagonists and protagonists (38). It was a reformation of the United Tasmania Group (UTG) a forerunner to the Green party in Tasmania, and which had originally formed in 1972 because of concerns for Tasmania’s wilderness areas. The reformed UTG were unable to agree a common wording. Those committed to an ecocentric perspective published their interpretation of wilderness as the UTG Wilderness Integrity Group in the first issue of the new UTG Journal (39). What Holloway termed as the “breakaway group” had a perspective instead of the “utilitarian” values of wilderness recreation, these being the authors of the review booklet I had been sent, and which had not referred in any way to this apparent rift in thinking. Holloway noted that while the authors of the booklet had initially "declared their intention to safeguard ‘experiential and ecological values or remote natural land’", their focus, however, was on the "‘experiential’ over ecocentric perspectives. What they mean by ‘experiential’ is essentially that which is experienced (principally through recreation), rather than ecological or ecocentric - in other words, utilitarianism dressed up in an artificial synthesis. This publication is not about advocating for the preservation of wilderness for its own sake, despite this being at the heart of many peoples’ concern to conserve wilderness. This booklet is not about the ecocentric values of wilderness, but instead about anthropocentric values. It disavows the former, and instead focuses on the interests of bushwalkers who want recreation within wilderness areas. Any benefit for biodiversity and geodiversity would, at best, be a fortuitous by-product should the perspective it presents be adopted more widely”

I had to go back and re-read the booklet (40) as the issue of the presence of indigenous people must have taken my attention away from what were Holloway’s specific criticisms. Thus there were references in the booklet that amounted to a tolerance of non-conforming features, such as vehicle tracks and small huts, the presence of which is traditionally seen in the Tasmanian conceptions of wilderness as inimical, but which fit with the utilitarian perspective of obliging bushwalkers. The fear is that these represent a step backwards in defining and protecting wilderness, as Holloway says – “They exemplify the very reason why the true meaning of the term wilderness needed disinterment from the distorting misuse of the term, which has increasingly occurred over recent decades at the hands of green-washing tourist operators and within the campaign tactics of some conservation activists” and that it could “be used to substantiate further recreational/tourism incursions into wilderness” (38). The booklet authors did make a distinction between major and minor infrastructure, and oddly say that the presence or proximity of minor infrastructure – they list this variously as survey markers, cairns, walking tracks, campsites, signposts, automated weather stations, communications infrastructure, and even helipads – while it will generally affect wild character, it will not affect an area’s status as wilderness (40). I can’t agree.

I noticed that both the booklet authors and Holloway invoked the writings of Haydn Washington, whose doctoral thesis I had discovered for myself earlier, and in which Washington had observed the sustained attack that the concept of wilderness had come under from such as those interests who sought to exploit the resources locked up there, and by intellectuals who have made various arguments against it, leading to what he saw as the “confusion and tangled meanings around ‘wilderness’” something he described as the “Wilderness Knot” (41). Washington would later write – “Many of the criticisms of wild Nature thus seem to spring from an anthropocentric world view. The 'instinctive ecological compassion' to defend the existence rights of wilderness (in precedence over human-use rights) has challenged possibly the most fundamental tenet of modern western civilization. This is 'the belief that moral standing is strictly a human quality', and that humans can behave as they wish towards the non-human world” (42). It seemed to me that it had parallels with the criticism there was of rewilding resulting from the overuse and misuse of the term so that it had become a panchreston where it can explain almost anything and thus means everything and nothing - it has become meaningless (43). Holloway criticised the limited reflection in the booklet on Washington’s concern about the misuse of the term wilderness, and how wilderness is degraded by that misuse. He made it perfectly clear that he thinks the refining of the wilderness definition in the booklet is a degradation; that Washington would perceive the experiential value of wilderness as being an anthropocentric value; and that “wilderness exists without any ‘experiential’ human activity whatsoever”. He concluded that the booklet seems “essentially an attempt simply to counter ecocentrism perspectives on the preservation of wilderness” (38).

This is where I felt challenged

I have often thought of my delight in walking wild places as having experiential value. Indeed, I invoked an experiential wilderness - the human experience of wilderness - as being the sum of the cognitive processes, the visual, auditory and olfactory clues in navigating the landscape that faced humans as they returned along with the vegetation and other animals when the cold receded after the last Ice Age (44). In those terms, it is an anthropocentric value in the sense, as I explained, of it being a strategy for survival, a survival value when people were still prey, but this human sensitivity to wilderness is little needed nowadays. The most pressing need, now that human population has vastly outgrown the capacity of the self-perpetuating, ecological richness of wilderness to support it, is not to further jeopardise what remains. As I have often maintained, it is a recognition of the intrinsic (inherent) value of wild nature (e.g. (45,46)) a value that doesn’t stem from or rely on any human agency, other than an unselfish outlook in its defence, and what Holloway had described as an ecocentric perspective (38).

Ecocentrism was not a term I was entirely familiar with, but Holloway had cited an article by Washington and others in the journal The Ecological Citizen. The article in the very first issue of the journal examined the roots of ecocentrism, saying that it encapsulated recognition of the intrinsic value in all lifeforms and ecosystems, including their abiotic components in the non-living things like rocks – the geological natural world – as well as water and atmosphere; that non-human nature has an intrinsic value irrespective of human preferences or valuation; and that anthropocentrism fails to provide an ethic adequate for respecting and protecting planet Earth and its inhabitants (47). It was through a link at the bottom of that article that I came cross a Statement of Commitment to Ecocentrism written by the same authors that set out a world view of the intrinsic value in all of nature and the ecosphere, and which explained why ecocentrism is important in ethical, evolutionary, spiritual, governance, and ecological terms, before maintaining that a transformation towards an ecocentric worldview is a necessary path for the flourishing of life on Earth, including that of our own species. (48).

I also came across an article in the second issue of The Ecological Citizen that provided a succinct account of what ecocentrism is (49). Essentially, ecocentrism is a worldview that recognises intrinsic value in ecosystems and the biological and physical elements that they comprise, as well as in the ecological processes that spatially and temporally connect them. Thus when human wants clash with the health of the Earth as a whole - the ecosphere - or any of its ecosystems, those needs should, practically and ethically speaking, give way, as they are secondary to those of the Earth. The succinct account gives a contrast with anthropocentrism, the paradigm that currently dominates human activities, and which is characterised in the article by seeing ecocide and species extinction as just depriving humans of resources; the destruction of a mountaintop for mining as merely reducing the amenity value of the landscape. The authors averred that ecocentrism offers a robust ethical analysis of the negative impact that humans have on the community of life on Earth and the physical systems on which it is dependent. They argue that this ecocide and the rapid diminishment of life are unethical, irrespective whether it is a loss of anthropocentric benefit from ecosystem services, and which thus sets a compelling urgency for remedial actions and societal change. They say that the priority in changes that an ecocentric worldview demand are humanely transitioning to a far smaller human population, dramatically curbing our voracious appetite for carbon, swiftly moving from industrial agriculture to genuinely sustainable and humane food systems, and greatly shrinking the world’s economies. These priorities very much mirror the World Scientists’ Warning to Humanity: A Second Notice, and World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency, both of which I am a signatory to (50,51).

Are you ecocentric?

A plain language explanation of ecocentrism is given in a text box in the succinct account (49). It says that you are an ecocentric if you feel that it is wrong for humans to have an unreasonably large, negative impact on the biological and geological natural world, such as causing other species to go extinct, AND you believe that it is a deeper wrong than just affecting the quality of life of other humans in some way. That is, the deeper wrong is that it also does wrong to the Earth and to the rest of life, an important if not absolutely essential distinction. There were three multiple choice questions also in the box that help you establish whether you are ecocentric, but I think there is an example in England that is adequately a test, and that is the cull of badgers as a means to uphold the livelihoods of the cattle farming industry. If you support the cull, then it is plainly for anthropocentric reasons. I have described it as a state sponsored slaughter of a legally protected native species (52) a veterinarian has exposed the illogic of the slaughter as a means of disease control, as well as showing that it does not follow international ethical principles for wildlife control (53) the most recent Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) strategy review policy paper from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs concludes that there is too little industry ownership of the disease and a widespread implicit belief that Bovine TB is government’s problem alone, whereas farming could take responsibility for greater biosecurity and control on cattle movements (54) and this is backed up by recent research that concluded that the fact that more infections are transmitted within species than between species suggests that controlling transmission among cattle is a priority in the strategy for eliminating Bovine TB (55).

The Statement of Commitment to Ecocentrism and the succinct account explaining ecocentrism resonated with my own views more than anything I had seen before, and so I accepted the invitation to sign the Statement as a mark of support. There were around 500 names when I signed last year, including a number of conservation biologists that I was familiar with. That is now 837, reaching from around the world, and at the same time showing the breadth of perspective that people have come to it, from ecopsychology, anthropology, psychotherapist, artist, philosopher, writer, political scientist, engineering, Systems Thinking, medicine, climate activist, biochemistry, marine scientist, pilot, poet, Permaculture, wilderness advocate, actor, law, business, music teacher, veterinarian, nutrtionist, park ranger, historian, wildways trekker, ethicist, geologist, social worker, nurse, population activist etc. (48). Though a small group by number, considerably smaller than the tens of thousands that signed up to the Scientists’ Warnings (see above) the affinity it evokes amongst the varied signatories is evidently boundless, and which I find very encouraging, especially when terms for empathy with wild nature is a crowded field, each with some saliency, such as biophilia, fluminism (continuation of the dynamic flows of the interconnected narrative of the universe - see (56)) Deep Ecology (57) biocentrism, zoocentrism, sentiocentrism (a moral concern for living things that can perceive or feel such things as pain) and environmental or green ethics.

The authors of the succinct statement hope that the term ecocentrism becomes established in mainstream political and ecological discourses. However, they caution that it is crucial that it does so without dilution. By this they mean that ecocentrism should be understood as being at the high end of the ethical spectrum, that it is not a catch all for other worldviews that bump up from the bottom end of the spectrum by granting an intrinsic value to wild nature that is just a bit more generous than does anthropocentrism (49). It is thus a further parallel to the similar concerns I have about the devaluing of rewilding as a term, the cop out of alighting on some lower part of the wildness continuum and calling it rewilding when it is such a low aspiration for wild nature (58,59) and the deliberate drifting in meaning by those with a vested agenda (60,61).

So how do we embrace ecocentrism?

I think ecocentrism, or any of the other terms for empathy with wild nature that resist dilution from anthropocentrism, is an ethical state of mind. Thus if we start off with the right attitude, the right worldview for wild nature, then all else will follow, but what if it is not innate within us? Is ecocentrism too complex a concept to get across when it is abstract to most people’s experience, and when it is too easily refuted as misanthropic, that it is anti-human, or is contrary to concerns for social justice? I don’t think there is any one way to successfully co-opt others to a worldview of ecocentrism, but Washington and his colleagues were well aware that those claims of being anti-human could be made. They answered it, though, in a thought-provoking way by saying that ecocentrism is not a put-down of those seeking social justice, it does not deny that innumerable important homocentric problems exist (47). Instead, ecocentrism “stands aside from these smaller, short-term issues in order to consider Ecological Reality. Reflecting on the ecological status of all organisms, it comprehends the Ecosphere as a Being that transcends in importance any one single species, even the self-named sapient [wise] one”

Mark Fisher 24 January 2020

1) Bellgard, S.E., Pennycook, S.R., Weir, B.S., Ho, W., and Waipara, N.W. 2016. Phytophthora agathidicida. Forest Phytophthoras 6(1)

(2) de Lange, P.J. (2020): Agathis australis Fact Sheet (content continuously updated). New Zealand Plant Conservation Network

(3) Araucariaceae, The Gymnosperm Database

(4) How does it spread? Kauri Dieback Programme

(5) Understanding the disease, Kauri Dieback Programme

(6) Saying goodbye to ash, Self-willed land December 2012

(7) Kauri Locations, Kauri Dieback Programme

(8) Kauri, Department of Conservation, New Zealand

(9) Why are kauri so important? Kauri Dieback Programme

(10) Kauri Dieback Programme ANNUAL OPERATING REPORT 2009/10, September 2010

(11) KAURI DIEBACK PROGRAMME Annual Operating Report for the 2016/17 Financial Year, December 2017

(12) Our work: Kauri Dieback, The Department of Conservation, New Zealand

Proposal to close tracks to protect kauri, Media Release Department of Conservation, New Zealand 11 July 2018

(13) Kauri dieback, Department of Conservation, New Zealand

(14) How you can help save kauri, Kauri Dieback Programme

(15) What we are doing about kauri dieback, Auckland Council

(16) Track closures in the Waitākere Ranges, Auckland Council

(17) KAURI DIEBACK PROGRAMME Annual Operating Report 2017/18, December 2018

(18) Using controlled areas to save kauri, Kauri Dieback Programme

(19) Proposal to close tracks to protect kauri, Media Release Department of Conservation, New Zealand 11 July 2018

(20) Proposal to close tracks to protect kauri, Department of Conservation, New Zealand

(21) National Pest Management Plan, Kauri Dieback Programme

(22) Tramper charged over using Auckland track closed to prevent spread of kauri dieback, 1 NEWS 25 November 2018

(23) Person charged over Waitākere Ranges kauri dieback track breaches faces up to $60,000 in fines, Michael Neilson, New Zealand Herald 26 Nov, 2019

(24) Dirty boots in Waitakeres could mean a prison sentence, George Driver, Wilderness Magazine 2 May 2018

(25) Risk of trespass, prosecution for trampers this Easter due to kauri dieback fears, Laine Moger, stuff environment 19 April 2019

(26) Seven people trespassed for entering closed Waitākere tracks, Caroline Williams, stuff environment 23 April 2019

(27) Auckland Council dishing out notices, warnings over Kauri dieback trampers, RNZ 13 January 2020

(28) Entitled hikers vandalise signs, ignore ban on tracks closed due to kauri dieback, New Zealand Herald 14 January 2020

(29) Waitākere Ranges tracks closed to stop kauri dieback spread vandalised, stuff environmental 18 January 2020

(30) Walking death: 'entitled locals' hiking New Zealand's kauri trees into extinction, Charlotte Graham-McLay, Guardian 17 January 2020

(31) The most natural succession of woodland, Self-willed land November 2009

(32) From No Sense of Wild to a Need to Rewild North America, John Miles, Rewilding Earth, Rewilding Institute 14 December 2019

(33) Unselfing – a selfless approach to the beauty of wild nature, Self-willed land February 2016

(34) Rumination, mindfulness and Awe Walks, Self-willed land June 2017

(35) Giving natural justice to wild nature, Self-willed land January 2017

(36) The continuing destruction of our native trophic pyramid, Self-willed land February 2018

(37) Indigenous people and the experiential values of wilderness, Self-willed land November 2018

(38) REVIEW: ‘Refining the definition of wilderness’ by Hawes, Dixon & Bell,- Geoff Holloway, Tasmanian Times 26 August 2018

(39) Definition of wilderness, UTG Wilderness Integrity Group. The UTG Journal Issue No.1, January 2018

(40) Hawes, M, Dixon, G & Bell, C 2018, Refining the definition of Wilderness: Safeguarding the experiential and ecological values of remote natural land, Bob Brown Foundation Inc., Hobart, Australia

(41) Washington, H. G. (2006). The wilderness knot. Thesis submitted for Doctor Of Philosophy, University of Western Sydney

(42) Washington, H. (2012) Human dependence on nature: How to help solve the environmental crisis. Taylor Francis

(43) Conservation biology and the repair of our damaged and degraded ecosystems, Self-willed land April 2018

(44) Wilderness uncovered - the past and future of drowned lands, Self-willed land November 2016

(45) One more step towards the trial release of lynx, Self-willed land June 2016

(46) Rewilding Britain backs out of Summit to Sea – a symptom of a wider failure to achieve, Self-willed land October 2019

(47) Washington H, Taylor B, Kopnina H, Cryer P and Piccolo JJ (2017) Why ecocentrism is the key pathway to sustainability. The Ecological Citizen 1 (1): 35–41

(48) Statement of Commitment to Ecocentrism, The Ecological Citizen

(49) Gray J, Whyte I and Curry P (2018) Ecocentrism: What it means and what it implies. The Ecological Citizen 1 (2): 130–1

(50) Civilisation, artifice, domination, autonomy – divining a moral ethic for wild nature, December 2017

(51) UK Restoration and Rewilding Plan - a positive action-oriented narrative, November 2019

(52) Giving natural justice to wild nature, Self-willed land January 2017

(53) Guest blog – Licensed Badger Killing; Ethical Considerations, Alick Simmons, MARK AVERY: STANDING UP FOR NATURE 16 December 2019

(54) Policy paper: Bovine TB strategy review: summary and conclusions, DEFRA 28 February 2019

(55) Crispell, J., Benton, C.H., Balaz, D., De Maio, N., Ahkmetova, A., Allen, A., Biek, R., Presho, E.L., Dale, J., Hewinson, G. and Lycett, S.J., 2019. Combining genomics and epidemiology to analyse bi-directional transmission of Mycobacterium bovis in a multi-host system. eLife 8:e45833

(56) Fluminism as an Environmental Ethic (Symbioethic). SEASONALIGHT 23 January 2017

(57) The Deep Ecology Platform, Foundation for Deep Ecology

(58) Hope is natural, hope is wild, Self-willed land September 2018

(59) An ecological landscape – connectivity, cores and coexistence, Self-willed land March 2019

(60) Drifting from Rewilding, Mark Fisher, Rewilding Earth, Rewilding Institute 29 March 2019

(61) Movement ecology and rewilding, Self-willed land September 2019