After the Chernobyl nuclear accident an exclusion zone 2660 square kilometres (just over 1000 square miles) hod to be abandoned.
Now while the area is horrifically damaged by the the nuclear waste, the absence of humans has been such a boon that wildlife populations in the exclusion zone are doing phenomenally well.
The area hosts several dozen wolves, and bears returned for the first time in 2014 – having been absent from the area for more than a century.
Indeed what is fascinating about the area is the clear evidence that the damage caused by nuclear radiation is nowhere near as damaging as the human population.
Whether this can change and we can allow small pockets of wilderness in the heart of Europe is a question that most would answer no. However given how many benefits will genesis like this give to the area around them, perhaps we should be aiming to create more.