Lee Schofield, ecologist and site manager for RSPB Haweswater, is leading efforts to breathe life back into two hill farms and their thirty square kilometres of sprawling upland habitat. Informed by the land, its history and the people who have shaped it, Lee and his team are repairing damaged wetlands, meadows and woods. Each year, the landscape is becoming richer, wilder and better able to withstand the shocks of a changing climate.
But in the contested landscape of the Lake District, change is not always welcomed, and success relies on finding a balance between rewilding and respecting cherished farming traditions.
‘In a country defined as the seventh most nature depleted on Earth, in a region plagued by flooding and climate-chaos, here comes Lee Schofield’s brilliant book full of positive action and hope for the future. Wild Fell is a record of environmental achievement, of the RSPB’s mission to restore the places and wild nature of Haweswater. But it’s also a political tract, and throws down a gauntlet to us all to make the Lake District a national park that is genuinely worthy of the title.’ – Mark Cocker