Why we are

A few years back, four friends came into contact with the term 'wilding' for the first time. Gradually the term began popping up more until something of a bombardment was in process. Intrigued to see what all the fuss was about, we began researching what it is and what it hopes to solve.

 

After some thorough investigative work, we found ourselves convinced of its potential. Our right brains were caught up in the romance of the idea, and our left brains were impressed with its proven success at dealing with a host of environmental and economic issues.

With this began our wilding adventure. We searched online to see what we could do. But apart from one or two sporadic projects some distance from home, we were able to do little to help except donate some money to the big players. We duly donated. However, after doing so, we were left feeling cold. It seemed our wilding adventure had ended before it began. 

 

At this point we realised that we didn’t just want wilding to succeed in the UK, but we wanted involvement in that process to be open to anyone with a will to wild. The excellent work of wilding organisations and advocates in the UK in the last few years has seen a thronging mass of enthusiasm and support develop for the cause (ourselves included); yet, as we’ve felt first hand, there seems to be few suitable valves to free this energy and allow the wilding acceleration it promises. Youngwilders hopes to be this very valve!

Who we are

Oscar Hartman-Davies

Spending childhood summers exploring the forests and lakes of Finland with his grandpa gave Oscar a deep love and respect for wild places, and a desire to see more such places across Britain. His recent discovery of a whole community of passionate UK wilders who share this dream has been one of the most exciting periods of his—admittedly short—adult life. Oscar has developed a working understanding of wilding from both theoretical and practical perspectives during his BA and MSc qualifications in geography and environmental governance respectively. He uses this to good effect in his role as lead researcher and outdoorsy person at youngwilders. Oscar is also a PhD researcher at Oxford, focusing on the various ways in which seabirds and fish are mobilised by different groups in debates around resource development, conservation policy and indigenous rights in the Arctic.

Molly Easton

Molly has always loved nature and exploring it both inside and outside of the city. In her working life, Molly is passionate about finding the best ways to engage with different audiences on issues relating to nature and climate, currently working on communication and political strategy for environmental campaigns. Prior to this, she worked in the sustainability division of the artist management and creative content agency Art Partner, and completed the graduate scheme at the leading environmental think tank Green Alliance, where she created and produced ‘The Green Alliance Podcast’, which covers the latest insights in environmental policy and politics. At youngwilders, Molly is the mastermind behind our communications. 

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Anya Doherty

Anya first saw the word 'wilding' hidden away in a lecture slide while studying for her degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge. It wasn't the most hands-on introduction, but she soon found herself making regular visits to some of the UK's seminal wilding sites, determined to learn more about how wilding could work on the ground. Anya later returned to Cambridge, where she taught final-year undergraduates in Conservation Science through the University's tutorial system. She counts the Peak District as a major natural inspiration after spending many rainy, freezing days running in the hills near her grandparent's house. Anya's role at youngwilders is our resident conservation scientist and spiritual leader.

Jack Durant

Jack may not have any 'skills' per se, but he counts himself as a big fan of the natural world. His love of nature started with spending parentally concerning amounts of time on Wimbledon common as a child. Ensuring access to local, beautiful natural spaces like this has proved a central motivator in Jack's passion for the youngwilders project. 

Having studied philosophy at undergraduate level, he is currently doing a Masters at the Institite of Resources, Environment and Sustainability at UBC in Canada, where he works as the resident environmental philosopher in his research team. Jack's role at YW lies somewhere between administrator and chief enthusiast.

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Join us!

1. Subscribe to our mailing list below or get in touch via our get involved page.

2. Post a photo of nature in your local area, or one of yourself in nature, on instagram and tag us @youngwilders_. We'll be reposting our favourite snaps.