A group of young people standing on a pasture with cattle in he background.

Grazers in the sun: our first rewilding workshop

This weekend, we discussed rewilding and large grazers' impact on ecosystems before going to the field and exploring how they shape landscapes!

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This Saturday was highly anticipated for us at Sylvester. After finding a partner and spreading the word, it was finally time to hold our first Rewilding Workshop in Kiel. Together with the Foundation for Nature Protection in Schleswig-Holstein, we put together a two-part workshop. With 15 participants, it was pretty nice to first learn about everyone’s background and interest in the field of rewilding. And luckily, both ranger Maria and Hauke from the Foundation could already give us some insights into their pratical experiences. This first part also consisted of a brief presentation of Sylvester and our plans before focusing on the main topic of the day: large grazers and how they shape landscapes. To educate about this, we presented one chapter of our upcoming rewilding manual. Large grazers can play a vital role in creating diverse and resilient ecosystems. Through browsing, grazing, trampling, and their dung, they help to create a habitat for many different species. All the details will be in our open source Rewilding manual, published this spring!

Taking things outdoors

And after a little lunchbreak, we were eager to discover all the impacts of large grazers in the wild. Luckily, we had some experienced guidance from Maria. She showed us aroung the plot in Kiel-Hammer, and together, we found their twelve Galloways pretty quickly. They graze on this spot year-round and shape the landscape in impressing ways, creating a diverse habitat. Within the two hours we spent there, we discovered cranes, woodpeckers, pheasants, geese, and a rabbit. Additionally, we came pretty close to the cattle and were pretty impressed by their size. But they were pretty friendly, as you can see here:

Ending the day in front of a tv camera

Even though it was a pretty sunny day, cold winds made us wrap up soon after Maria showed us the diversity on the plot. But for us, the day wasn’t done because a team from the local tv station NDR also came to pay us a visit and create a little report about us:

More Sylvester events to come

After this delightful day, we were really happy to share the story of Sylvester and our ideas. Bringing together theory and practice was the perfect combination for us, so we plan to do events like this in the future. A big thanks to Maria for her patience and guidance and everyone attending for being such a nice crowd!
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