Rebirding - Pelagic Publishing


Rewilding Britain and its Birds

  • Detailed overview of bird declines and the factors leading to them.
  • A plan to rewild at a large-scale, rebuilding insect food chains and connectivity.
  • An economic solution to rewilding our landscapes, creating a future where large, wild areas look after wildlife.

Shipped from UK/EU or USA depending on your location

  • This is a wonderful book, visionary, illuminating and fascinating. It will help accelerate the rewilding revolution now beginning in Britain. —George Monbiot
  • birds
  • Coming Soon
  • ecology
  • habitat
  • ornithology
  • restoration
  • rewilding


Rebirding takes the long view of bird and wildlife decline in the UK, from the early taming of the British landscape, fenland drainage and removal of its cornerstone species, such as wild grazers, beavers and boar, to intensification of our modern landscapes, and our vanishing cuckoos.

It looks at key reasons why birds are vanishing around us today, as the insect food-chain collapses and many birds are trapped in tiny pockets too small to survive. We explore how Britain has, uniquely, relied on modifying farmland, rather than restoring ecosystems, in a failing attempt to halt bird decline.

Rebirding maps out how we might finally turn things around, rewilding our national parks, restoring natural ecosystems and allowing our birds, and wildlife, a return to the wild. In doing so, an entire new sector of rural jobs would also be created, finally bringing Britain’s dying rural landscapes back to life – for wildlife and people alike.

We are undergoing a mass extinction in our birds and wildlife after over two centuries of intensification. Many books lament the decline of British wildlife – this is the first to map out how this could be entirely turned around, economically and in the national interest.

Benedict Macdonald puts forward economic solutions to rewilding our landscapes, creating a future where large, wild areas look after their wildlife. This book advocates for the restoration of true ecosystems, with their original animal stewards, that many other countries, from the USA to Germany and Sweden, already enjoy.


This book is for anyone who cares about Britain’s vanishing wildlife and birds, and is interested in ambitious, but achievable, solutions to wildlife decline.

Table of Contents

1 - Taming Britain
2 - The Anthropocene
3 - The First Imperative
4 - The Lost Stewards
5 - A Question of Scale
6 - Memory
7 - A Wild Economy
8 - The Wild Highlands
9 - New Forests
10 - The Golden Hills of Wales
11 - A Grouse Moor Wild
12 - Pelican Possibility
13 - Our Birds
14 - Conservation Begins


  • What I really love about this book is that it doesn’t just go over the same tired and familiar issues. Instead, it offers a revolutionary new approach. This not only could work, but needs to succeed, if we are to stop fiddling at the margins and do something that actually restores Britain’s birds and wildlife to their rightful place at the centre of our nation, culture and society.
      Rebirding also offers a compelling vision: of a richer and healthier Britain, with flocks of pelicans drifting over our wetlands, wild cats and capercaillies returning to our increasingly wooded hunting estates, and wildlife safaris to watch lynx and golden eagles in Snowdonia – all within a generation.
      Not least, Rebirding is beautifully written, based on deep, personal experience and a genuine love of the subject. It also benefits from the heady enthusiasm of youth. You may not have come across Ben Macdonald before now; but believe me, you will hear a lot more from him in the future.
    —Stephen Moss

About the Author

Benedict Macdonald is a field naturalist and wildlife film-maker who grew up watching birds and wildlife vanish around him every year. During his extensive global travel experience he’s found inspiring examples of why such declines are entirely avoidable. This book is Benedict’s attempt to ensure that his generation, for the first time in thousands of years, leaves British wildlife better off, not worse, than the generation before him.

Benedict is a long-time conservation writer for Birdwatching magazine, as well as a contributor to RSPB Nature’s Home and BBC Wildlife Magazine, and an assistant producer in natural history television including for Netflix and the BBC.

Bibliographic Information

  • 300 pages
  • BISAC SCI070040, NAT043000, NAT010000, NAT011000, SCI088000, TEC003040