Guerrilla rewilding and buildings that heal. Plus what else to expect in the new issue of Positive News

Oct 4, 2023 | News

How far would you be willing to go to give back to nature? In , we meet members of the radicalised arm of the rewilding community, who are illicitly breeding storks, beavers, butterflies, frogs and wildcats for covert release. In taking Britain’s plummeting biodiversity into their own hands, these guerilla rewilders risk a hefty prison sentence, as well as condemnation from farmers and the wider conservation community, who say they are doing more harm than good. It’s a knotty issue that has sparked debate all the way to No.10, which has been asked by a cross-party committee to clarify which species it supports for reintroduction by January 2024.

Elsewhere we report on an alternative approach to mental illness. Finland is on a six-year winning streak as the world’s happiest country, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the outcomes for those with severe mental illness in Finland are a big improvement on those in the UK. As the world’s first largescale, clinical trial of the ‘open dialogue’ approach pioneered by Finnish psychiatrists in the 1980s comes to a close in Britain, we meet the NHS doctors who are already using it. They predict that when the study’s results are published next year, the whole model of British psychiatry could be flipped on its head.

You probably don’t think of progress or beauty in relation to prisons and homeless hostels, but we’ve spoken to those at the vanguard of a new architectural movement that is changing that, bringing (beautiful) ‘trauma-informed’ design to the people in society who need it most. And we’ve also dug into the race to save Britain’s rarest native tree – the ‘ballerina poplar’ that was once common here – and is now being replanted thanks to some creative paintbrush pollination.

They are all stories of hope and perseverance, proof that when we have a vision and put our minds to it, beautiful things happen. Here’s to filling autumn and the onset of winter with more knotty, beautiful progress.

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