Skip to Content

Isabella Tree’s Reflections on Life’s Teachings

Writer and farmer Isabella Tree played a pivotal role in initiating the rewilding movement in Britain. Renowned for her bestseller, “Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm,” published in 2018, Isabella, alongside her husband, the conservationist Charlie Burrell, has dedicated efforts to rewild their expansive 3,500-acre estate in Sussex known as Knepp. This sanctuary now hosts a diverse array of wildlife, including the critically endangered nightingales and turtle doves.

Morning Routine

Isabella’s day typically commences at 6am, sometimes even earlier during spring. Her morning ritual involves a 15-minute walk with her dog, where she encounters Exmoor ponies, old English longhorn cattle, and observes the graceful flight of red kites, storks, or ravens. This serene communion with nature sets a positive tone for the day, offering a respite from the digital onslaught.

Optimism Amidst Nature

Isabella finds solace in witnessing nature’s remarkable resilience, as exemplified by the rejuvenation at Knepp over the past two decades. The flourishing biodiversity in their recently rewilded garden, created from 400 tonnes of crushed brick and concrete, reflects a 33% increase in plant species within a short span. This resurgence serves as a beacon of hope, showcasing nature’s remarkable ability to rebound against all odds.

Source of Anger

What riles Isabella is humanity’s tendency to disregard nature’s cues and resort to technological interventions to mitigate environmental damage. She laments the arrogance of mankind, particularly in endeavors like extracting carbon from the atmosphere or implementing ill-conceived carbon storage solutions like sitka spruce plantations in peatlands.

Alternate Path

If not immersed in writing and conservation, Isabella envisions herself as a light aircraft pilot, inspired by the adventurous spirits of aviators like Beryl Markham and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The allure of exploring remote airstrips and crossing continents encapsulates the sense of freedom and thrill she finds captivating.

Key Habit for Success

Isabella attributes her resilience to the art of catnapping, a skill that allows her to rejuvenate in a mere 10-minute power nap, irrespective of the setting – be it an airport lounge, a library desk, or a grassy patch outdoors. This brief reprieve revitalizes her, akin to a million-dollar boost upon waking.

Witnessing nature’s resurgence against all odds conveys a powerful message of hope.

Simple Joys

The tranquility of untouched wilderness, where human presence fades into insignificance amidst thriving wildlife, fills Isabella with profound joy. In such pristine ecosystems, she finds her spirit uplifted, witnessing the harmonious functioning of vibrant ecosystems.

Coping Mechanism

During challenging times, Isabella turns to meditation using the Headspace app. This practice of mindful breathing and introspection enables her to pause, recalibrate, and find solace amidst life’s tumultuous moments.

Isabella advocates for Rachel Carson’s seminal work, “Silent Spring,” penned in 1962, which sheds light on the detrimental impact of pesticides on the environment. Despite advancements since the eradication of DDT, the resurgence of potent modern pesticides underscores the enduring relevance of Carson’s cautionary tale.

Evolution of Perspective

A significant shift in Isabella’s worldview involves embracing the concept of harmonious coexistence with nature in its raw, unmanicured state. Contrary to her earlier admiration for meticulously manicured landscapes, she now recognizes the intrinsic beauty of landscapes that function naturally, even if they appear untamed.

Driving Force

Isabella’s greatest motivation stems from the prospect of reshaping individuals’ perceptions through her writing. The transformative impact of her book, “Wilding,” inspires hope that her words may spark a paradigm shift, especially among younger audiences, encouraging a holistic appreciation for the natural world.

Parental Wisdom

Her parents instilled in her the values of courage and integrity, emphasizing the importance of both giving and receiving love. These foundational teachings have shaped Isabella’s character and guided her journey towards advocating for nature and conservation.

Message to Younger Self

Reflecting on her past, Isabella would encourage her younger self to shed inhibitions and embrace self-assurance. Overcoming shyness and cultivating confidence emerge as pivotal lessons she wishes to impart to her former self.

Sense of Humor

While her family members and beloved dog never fail to elicit laughter, Isabella admits to struggling with her husband’s sense of humor even after decades together. His unexpected jokes continue to surprise her, showcasing the enduring mystery and charm of their enduring bond.

Supporting Positive Change

Isabella’s commitment to promoting solutions-focused journalism underscores the importance of uplifting narratives amidst prevalent doom and gloom. Positive News, as an independent, not-for-profit media outlet, relies on reader support to sustain its mission of empowering individuals to contribute towards a brighter future through informed and constructive reporting.