"Randal Plunkett strides through the hip-high grass of Dunsany, a 650-hectare
(1,600-acre) estate in the middle of Ireland, trailed by an invisible swarm of
midges and his four Jack Russell terriers: Tiny, Lumpy, Chow, and Beavis &
Butt-Head. The cattle and sheep are long gone, so too are the lawns and many of
the crops. In their place is a riot of shrubs, flowers, and trees, along with
insects and creatures that call this fledgling wilderness their home. It is
probably Ireland’s most ambitious attempt at rewilding on private land, an
attempt to recreate a vanished landscape in a swath of County Meath, 20 miles
northwest of Dublin.
According to the UN, the world needs to rewild and restore an area the size of
China to meet commitments on nature and the climate—but not everyone applauds
Ireland’s pioneering effort. “You’d be surprised when you live in a castle how
many times people think you’re an idiot,” says Lord Plunkett, the 21st baron of
Dunsany. The 38-year-old, who was once a steak-eating, bodybuilding death metal
fan with no interest in land, is now vegan and on an environmental mission. He
still loves death metal, and sports a ponytail and (fake) leather jacket, but
he decided seven years ago to turn over 300 hectares of his estate to nature—no
livestock, planting, sowing, or weeding."
Via Stuart Richman and Christoph S.
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics