As one of the founding organisations of Rewilding Europe, ARK Nature has been an important partner of this pan-European initiative since its launch in 2010. From 2011 to 2016 we collaborated in ‘Green Treasures of Europe’, a rewilding project funded to ARK by the Dutch National Postcode Lottery. In 2016 our partnership was renewed and since then we collaborate on specific topics. With the support of ARK Nature, Rewilding Europe has developed two important tools to promote rewilding: the European Wildlife Bank and the European Rewilding Network.
- The European Wildlife Bank (launched in 2011) emerged from the ‘ARK Herd Fund’. This bank lends herds of wild herbivores to rewilding projects across Europe. Currently (2018) it has more than 700 animals including European bison, Tauros, and various breeds of European horses, spread across natural grazing projects in seven European countries.
- The European Rewilding Network (launched in 2013) is a platform to facilitate exchange between rewilding initiatives across Europe. At present the network supports more than 60 member initiatives in 26 European countries, covering some 6 million hectares. So far, the network has organized 19 webinars for knowledge exchange, inspiration and discussion on a wide range of issues related to rewilding.
Apart from collaborating on the activities mentioned above, ARK works with Rewilding Europe in a pilot project for the formal recognition of the wild status of free-living horses in Bulgaria. We are also working together on communication materials such as artist impressions of rewilding areas and keystone species (see our web shop for free samples). In addition, we have organized thematic courses for Rewilding Europe local teams and European Rewilding Network members. In 2016, a full-week training focused on natural grazing, including multiple presentations and field visits in the Netherlands. In 2017, a one-week course focused on nature education in the Southern Carpathians rewilding area in Romania.