'Nonetheless, I (like many others) felt a wrongness in the world,
a wrongness that seeped through the cracks of my privileged, insulated childhood.
I never fully accepted what I had been offered as normal. Life, I knew, was supposed to be more joyful than this, more real, more meaningful
and the world was supposed to be more beautiful'.
Charles Eisenstein, 2013
The More Beautiful World, the world where natural ecology produces spaces of beauty and life, still exists despite human excavation, cultivation, burning and polluting.
The More Beautiful World also exists in the hearts of those who have woken up to the damage that humanity has done, and want to play their part in regenerating and repairing.
This young woman kneels silently in front of the Brazilian Embassy in London.
She is part of a vigil for the loss of forest, diversity and indigenous people in the Amazon. She holds a candle in memory of these terrible losses.
Written on her arm, the contact numbers of solicitors should she be arrested whilst performing this act of remembrance.
We declare that Black Lives Matter because historically, they haven't mattered at all.
The buying, selling and brutalisation of black people. Discrimination against women. The pillage of the Earth. The pursuit of money over everything else, even life.
All these behaviours are evidence of a perverse notion of what it is to be human, a story of separation from our true natures.
Those people who take to the streets to protest these outrages all have the same demand. They want their humanity back, they want the Earth back.
In 1983, Charlie Burrell took over Knepp Estate in West Sussex from his parents and struggled to grow crops in its unforgiving soil. The clay is a poor base and years of intensive techniques had left the earth unproductive.
So in 2000 he gave up. There was to be no more sowing, nature would take its course.
Today, Knepp is a success story for rewilding. The land is rapidly returning to its natural state, a mixture of woodland and scrubby grassland. Cows, pigs and sheep roam the land, grazing and foraging. Wildlife is abundant and there is constant birdsong.
The earth can regenerate and new life is possible.
Food is an area when human separation from the earth is very apparent.
For people in the Western world, gathering food invariably means a trip to the supermarket. Food is pre-packaged, transported long distances from its source and product rather than nourishment.
Free range eggs were one of the pioneer ethical foods. Animal rights campaigners were very effective at getting images of cramped and filthy chicken sheds into the public eye. Buyers decided that this was wrong and a revolution began.
Organic and biodynamic farms employ practices that enrich and regenerate the soil. These practices make the soil effective at fixing carbon from the atmosphere and hence drawing down carbon dioxide.
Swanscombe Peninsula, Kent is a post-industrial area. The heavy industry that used to occupy the site has long moved away and the area has been reclaimed by nature.
Plans are in place to build a £3.5 billion theme park here, along the lines of DisneyWorld. As the site is a brownfield site, permission is likely to be given for the development.
However, the site is currently home to 1,992 species of invertebrates, more than any known site in the UK. Developing this site would do more damage to nature than building on farmland.
Council planners draw a distinction between brownfield (previously built upon land) and greenfield (farmland and woodland). The presumption is always to build on brownfield sites if possible. Swanscombe challenges this model.
Embracing the More Beautiful World means us asking tougher questions than greenfield vs brownfield. It means us choosing life.
The opening pictures of woodland were both made on Dartmoor. Wistmans Wood and Hembury Woods are both remaining remnants of the temperate rainforest that covered Britain after the last ice age. These areas have been woodland for over 11,000 years.
All pictures by Chris Jerrey ©2020