Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed the book Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. Tina started Ann Cleeves’ new Two Rivers detective series with The Heron’s Cry, but didn’t connect with the characters as much as with the Vera Stanhope and Shetland series. Jean reviewed The Midnight Folk by John Masefield, a fantastical romp with creatures of the night.
‘Rewilding’ is a term that I’ve only heard in British contexts, although the concept is familiar to me. In Missouri, the efforts are usually put toward prairie restoration and, so, that’s what it’s called. I only recently realized that prairie restoration is one of many kinds of rewilding projects around the world.
I first heard the term ‘rewilding’ on The Archers in 2019. Young members of the rural community successfully competed for grant money from one of the older residents. Their proposal for rewilding in and around Ambridge won the contest.
One of the story lines of The Archers in June was about the rewilding group setting up a glamping operation. ‘Glamping’ is another word that I associate with the British — according to the OED, the word first appeared in the UK in 2005. Slightly less obvious than ‘rewilding,’ ‘glamping’ is a portmanteau of ‘glamourous’ and ‘camping.’
Being exposed through a fictional show, I was fascinated to see it happening in real life at Mapperton, a historical estate in Dorset.
One of my lockdown entertainments was Julie Montagu’s channel on YouTube: Yoga, Tea & the British Aristocracy. Julie is an American woman who married into a British aristocratic family — she married the heir to the Earl of Sandwich, in fact. They live in Mapperton House and I really enjoyed this playlist: Behind the Scenes at Mapperton.
That series was so successful that it recently spawned its own channel, Mapperton Live: Backstage at Britains Finest Manor. Mapperton Live is where we’ve been seeing coverage of Mapperton’s Rewilding effort.
Here’s the introductory video:
And, here’s the second video in the series, where they begin an inventory of the current natural elements and consider introducing beavers to the land.
Like the young rural entrepreneurs on The Archers, Mapperton is setting up glamping to use as an early income stream to fund their efforts.
Both the Archers episode and this video from Mapperton, talk about composting loos — apparently the toilet of choice for an environmentally friendly way to accommodate people in the landscape.
Are you familiar with rewilding and glamping?