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Columnist and Life

When nature gives people the 'ick'

People living in urban environments are often alienated from the great outdoors and therefore find it scary and disgusting. This "biophobia" is on the rise, says Graham Lawton

By Graham Lawton

20 September 2023

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jim West/imageBROKER/Shutterstock (4549809a) Children inspect a caterpillar found in their garden which is tended by children ages 5-11 in a program called Growing Healthy Kids, as part of the Earthworks Urban Garden, which grows food for the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Detroit, Michigan, USA VARIOUS

Children inspect a caterpillar found in the garden they tend as part of the Growing Healthy Kids program in Detroit, Michigan, US

Jim West/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

A FEW weekends ago, I hosted the first of our new Discovery Tour Weekenders at Rewilding Coombeshead, a former farm tucked away in the UK’s Devon countryside. Owned and run by maverick conservationist Derek Gow, the site has an extensively rewilded area filled with Eurasian beavers, water buffalo, wild boar and Exmoor ponies, as well as an animal reintroduction and breeding programme for water voles, white storks, wildcats …

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