When British today speak of wilderness, they often use a tone of respect and wonder. Phrases like ‘unspoilt nature’ and ‘getting back to basics’ come into play, for people see wilderness as an antidote to modern civilization, a place free of the rushed and stressful aspects of daily life. In this view, the wilderness appears to be a pure, green world where all troubles end and we become reborn. The county of Wiltshire, located in Southern England is the perfect site that exemplifies the appeal of wilderness. Embellishing such vow-to-nature, the Wiltshire Cottage Holidays’ structure and design is an epitome of England’s wilderness.
The wilderness myth in Wiltshire runs aground on two hard facts, one historical and the other environmental. If wilderness is defined as a region untouched by humans, never explored or settled, exclude most of the earth’s land, though include the ocean bottoms. What most people today call wilderness is either park or public land, set aside from development. But in Wiltshire Cottage Holidays, the appeal of wilderness is well-preserved and presented to its guests through the panoramic sights around the cottages. The internal designs and displays show the historic culture and rich tradition way back in time of Neolithic age. The museums and art centres nearby cottages have wealth of archaeological remains such as Stonehenge and a Stone Circle at Avebury.
World wars, years of global depression and new technology that split atoms and built toxic poisons have made many British realize that they no longer live in continental isolation, but on an endangered planet. Writing in praise of the 1964 Wilderness Protection Act, novelist Wallace Stegner defined wilderness as a spiritual force: a place to see ourselves as separate and individual, but also as partners to the rocks, trees, and animals. The recognition that humans have a duty to honour wild places now prevails in environmental policies, standing behind the call to recycle waste, reduce pollution, use alternative energy, and save endangered species in Wiltshire Cottage Holidays. Their regular activities all depend on keeping wilderness areas unspoilt, so that it will remain as England’s epitome of Wilderness.