Monday, September 23, 2019, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
discussing the subject of her new book
Wilding:Returning Nature to Our Farm
from New York Review Books
with an introduction by Eric Schlosser
For many years Isabella Tree and Charlie Burrell struggled to make a go as farmers, doing everything they could to make the heavy clay soils of their farm at Knepp in West Sussex as productive as possible, while rarely succeeding in making a profit. By 2000, facing bankruptcy, the couple decided they would try something new. They would hand their 3,500 acres, farmed for centuries, even millennia, back to nature. They would let it go wild.
What has been said about WILDING:
[F]ans of Roger Deakin, Robert Macfarlane, Nan Shepherd, and other British naturalists will follow right along … A fine work of environmental literature that demands a tolerance for detail and should inspire others to follow suit.
This wonderfully readable book, which is partly a memoir and partly a plan of action, is an inspirational guide for how to "rewild" a landscape….This honest, thoroughly researched and deeply hopeful book will appeal to everyone—especially farmers—who is concerned about how intensive farming practices are degrading the environment and how to restore nature to ravaged lands.
Wilding is one of the most exhilarating books I know. Knepp Castle is a modern marvel, a wild ancient landscape in a modern domestic country, a place filled with birds and animals leading their own independent and remarkable lives. Isabella Tree, who lives there, tells the rich, complicated story of Knepp. As a writer, Tree is both elegant and deeply informed, and the story is full of poetic awareness and scientific foundations. This story will delight anyone who's interested in nature, wildlife and hope.
In a story that is part personal memoir, part work of conservation, Tree reveals the capacity of the wild to reclaim the land--as long as humans step out of the way.
Wilding is both a timely and important book.
A poignant, practical and moving story of how to fix our broken land, this should be conservation's salvation; this should be its future; this is a new hope.
Every farmer (and perhaps every conservationist) in Britain needs to go and spend a day at Knepp. The Knepp “wilding” project is a vitally important experiment for working out what we can do to let nature back into our farmed landscapes...This book tells this vital story and deserves to be widely read.
The remarkable story of an astounding transformation.
Isabella Tree’s apparently quixotic tale of Exmoor ponies, longhorn cattle, red deer and Tamworth pigs roaming free on an aristocratic estate is a hugely important addition to the literature of what can be done to restore soil and soul.