Ed Sheeran has plans for the environment: he aspires to rewild as much of the UK as possible.
The English musician told BBC Radio London late last month: “I’m trying to buy as much land as possible and plant as many trees as possible. I am trying to rewild as much of the UK as I can. I love my county and I love wildlife and the environment.”
The “Shape of You” singer explained that this is in order to make up for the carbon footprint caused by his job as an entertainer, which is not “a hugely sustainable job” due to the travel requirements. That said, Sheeran announced plans last month that he will most likely be calling it quits on major tours so that he can spend more time with his wife, Cherry Seaborn, and his 16-month-old daughter, Lyra.
In addition to buying up land for rewilding, the 30-year-old Grammy winner said that he is turning his East Suffolk estate, called “Sheeranville,” into a wildlife meadow. This also includes a “massive beehive” and a large pond, which will help to support native wildlife such as newts, salamanders, hedgehogs, and snakes.
How Ed Sheeran’s rewilding plan helps the environment
“The thing with sustainability and being a public figure is when people support it, suddenly people try and find things to call them out on,” said Sheeran. He added that together, “we can all make a difference.”
Rewilding is extremely beneficial to the environment. Ecosystems such as meadowlands, woodlands, moorland, and peatlands serve not only as homes to a wide variety of plants, animals, and fungi, but also as carbon sinks. And, the species that make their homes in these lands help to keep them healthy and thriving.
However, as a result of hundreds of years of farming, industry, and building, the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in Europe. Since the 1970s, roughly 41 percent of species have declined, and many are at risk of disappearing, according to the Natural Biodiversity Network. Certain species, such as the hedgehogs that reside at Sheeran’s estate, have faced a population loss of about 95 percent.
Rewilding projects like Sheeran’s or projects led by conservationists, such as reintroducing keystone species like bison or ecosystem engineers like beavers, can help to reverse the destruction of nature and in turn, help the UK to lower its carbon footprint.