Natural regeneration is often used to describe the process of tree and shrub establishment in farmed landscapes. In some contexts it is used in the positive – recruitment of trees in landscapes with declining tree cover – but in others it may be perceived as negative – woody plant thickening.
We see natural regeneration though as having a broader meaning. For us regeneration reflects the rebuilding of the biological and cultural diversity of agricultural landscapes. Natural does not imply an absence of human decision making or management, but rather it reflects the need to harness and understand ecological function and ecosystem processes. This is not a conservative view of the environment, rather it is one in which understanding of ecological processes is used to rebuild and regenerate landscapes. This is not a landscape in which people are absent, rather it is one in which they are very present, but where management and decision-making is based on regenerating biological diversity.