Wool-Gathering: A Spectral Dwelling between ‘Wool’ and ‘Wilderness’, Uplandish conference, York St, John University 2017.

Recognising that the most biodiverse upland territory falls between the farm fence and the kerb, this paper took this wild-ish margin of culture/agri-culture as a site for investigation of current debate over rewilding of British uplands, and the wild-ish ‘wool-gatherer’, who dwells between wool and wilderness, as a spectral guide. Tracing the scarcely documented wool-gatherer along the edges of material evidence, and between folk narrative and literary accounts, this paper explored the meaning and value of marginal forms of upland dwelling and the ways ‘wool’ and ‘wilderness’ are embedded as agents of memory and longing within current debate over rewilding.

Image courtesy of Coflein.