How to Rewild

Create Signposts

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Create Signposts

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What You Can Do

If you have public access on or adjacent to your land, then providing proper signposts and interpretation can improve your relationship with walkers and the local community.

Fingerposts

Creating signs needn’t be hard – simple painted fingerposts can be easily constructed and made from leftover materials. Drive the post in for 1/3 to 1/4 of its total length to resist the effects of the wind on the pointy bits. Place it in a location where walkers are most likely to get lost or confused.

Restrictive Signs

Restrictive signs can really help with public relations if the messaging is thoughtful. Make sure to focus on positive instructions and information, rather than negative restrictions  – e.g. ‘public access this way’, not ‘private land – keep out’. Landscape features are far more effective than signs at changing people’s behaviour – e.g. in sensitive areas, use berms, thorny hedges, ditches and fencing to keep people out, rather than signs.

Interpretation Boards

Creating interpretation boards at points across your land is the most effective way of improving relationships with walkers. They can be cheap, too – created on your computer with text and images you’ve written and taken. Think of this like a conversation with someone who isn’t there. Your interpretation board can highlight the fascinating facts and beautiful wildlife that you regularly see on site. Using black printer ink with high contrast images on laminated paper will last last 6 months or more if stapled to a wood backing. Staple through the plastic, not the paper to avoid the ink running.

Example

On our own project, we’ve created a fingerpost from offcuts of timber and a tall fencepost. This hand-painted footpath sign took about 2 hours to create and it has greatly improved relations with walkers. The sign not only indicates where the public footpaths are (which is confusing on this patch), but also where they lead to, and how far away these destinations are (e.g. Ender’s Top 0.5km).

Our interpretation boards have also proven a hit with local walkers, and we’ve had very positive feedback on these from local landowners. These are largely image-based – big pictures tell the story of what is happening on the land, with a small amount of text for context. We use illustrations in black ink that last longer in the harsh weather conditions, and are eyecatching from further away. About 25-50% of walkers stop to read the boards.

Interpretation Sign Example
This interpretation sign on our pilot project illustrates the thought process behind rewilding without using the controversial 'r' word!
Signpost
This simple fingerpost on our project (placenames redacted) took about two hours to make from spare pallet wood and a new fence post.

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