We know that there are businesses out there doing some really good things, working in ways which benefit nature, and helping people to learn more about nature. At the same time, and often with some sort of connection to nature-friendly businesses, there is growing activity and interest in wilding/re-wilding/ nature-friendly land management (there are so many different terms in use!). At a personal level, we want to be using our skills, knowledge and passion for nature to support and build on all of this positive activity – finding it, enhancing it, promoting it. At a bigger level, we want to be part of the movement that is putting nature first, where people’s economic livelihoods are based on commercial activity that is beneficial to nature, and together we are helping others to value economic activity with a positive nature focus.
Nearly Wild is working to build up the good things that are already being done, to help what is there to become even stronger, and to encourage others to start to work in ways that are more nature-friendly and to do their bit to strengthen the nature-friendly economy.
We don’t want our work – or that of the businesses, organisations and individuals we work with – to be dependent on grant-funding, so we are developing Nearly Wild through a commercial model. We think that it’s vital to be able to stand on our own two feet financially, so that we have longevity, we have the freedom to be able to follow our own beliefs and ethos, and we can be a real demonstration that being nature-friendly can be commercially viable.
We are well aware that we are stepping into uncharted territories to some extent. The ‘market’ for nature-friendly business per se does not exist in its own right, but we think that it should do, and that’s a key goal for us. The growing wilding/re-wilding/environmental land management field is awash with differences of opinion, differences of terminology and meaning, and differences of approach and intention; however, we support the direction of travel, and want to bring our particular mix of skills and expertise into the field to make even more and better things happen.
Steve Evison is the energy behind Nearly Wild. He is perhaps best described as a strategic ecologist (I know, you’ve never heard of one of them!): academically trained in ecology, he has put this knowledge into practice over many years in Wales, the UK and numerous countries overseas through a variety of roles including as a site warden, a forester, an agricultural contractor, and in latter years as a consultant and advisor. His interest and passion has always been how to involve people properly in the decisions that are made about our natural resources and how they’re managed, and wanting people to understand more about the nature and wildlife around them. He has commercial ‘nous’, having created and run Resources for Change successfully over 20 years, and through this – and in previous roles - supported many businesses and organisations with their own commercial and organisational development. It is this combination – understanding nature and wildlife, understanding business and knowing how to engage people, and being able to see the bigger picture – that makes Nearly Wild what it is.