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Former city dweller rapidly revives once-barren landscape on property: 'So much better than actually planting trees'

Now, 14 years later, the area is starting to resemble a temperate rainforest.

Now, 14 years later, the area is starting to resemble a temperate rainforest.

Photo Credit: iStock

One former Dubliner was tired of city life, so he moved to a farm and turned back time by drastically "rewilding" the land.

Rewilding advocate Eoghan Daltun relocated from Dublin to Ireland's Beara Peninsula, where he aimed to return his newly acquired farmland to its natural state. He began removing invasive plant species and installed a fence to keep out goats and non-native sika deer. Then, the land did the rest, Mongabay reported.

Now, 14 years later, the area is starting to resemble a temperate rainforest. Rare native wildlife like pine martens have moved in and are taking advantage of the landscape changes.

Daltun shared his story, which is also detailed in his book, "An Irish Atlantic Rainforest: A Personal Journey Into the Magic of Rewilding," for the Mongabay Newscast.

According to the news organization, Ireland is one of the most ecologically denuded nations in the world. Though 80% of the country was once covered with forests, native woodlands now account for just 2% of the land. Daltun is an advocate of rewilding to help reverse that trend.

"[A]ny pieces of land that have been left on farms for a significant length of time very often have reverted naturally back to wild native forests," he told Mongabay. "[O]nce I started seeing this, I started to realize that something like that would be so much better than actually planting trees."

Rewilding is a term that was coined in 1992 by Dave Foreman, founder of The Rewilding Institute. Since then, the idea has spread across the globe.

For instance, Norway recently completed its largest rewilding project to date at a site where a mining town operated for over a century. As the landscape has recovered to its natural state, local wildlife like polar bears, Arctic foxes, reindeer, and many sea birds frequent the area.

Rewilding doesn't just refer to large-scale conservation initiatives — you can take part in the movement right from your own yard by getting rid of non-native water-guzzling turf and replacing it with native plants

For instance, one Reddit user shared some pretty impressive photos of their recently rewilded yard that swapped grass for flowers, shrubs, and other plant life. 

If you're looking to rewild your yard, companies like Yardzen can help you find local, drought-tolerant plants for your space.

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