Attempting to define what is wild and what constitutes wilderness can be difficult as it is a very subjective issue because people have very different expectations as a result of their different lives and experiences. As Nash (1982) puts it "One man's wilderness is another's roadside picnic ground". So what do we mean by wild and wilderness? A definition from the English Dictionary tells us....
Wild Living in a state of nature; not tame; not cultivated; desert; stormy; furious; frolicsome; rash; extravagant; excited. An uncultivated tract.
Wilderness (Wil'der-nes) A desert; waste; irregular collection of things.....both of which are not entirely helpful!
It is suggested by some people that wilderness is just one extreme on a continuum - a kind of sliding scale of human modification of the environment - from the 100% artificial buildings of the city centre through to the pristine nature found in remote locations. The position along this wilderness continuum at which wilderness occurs has perhaps more to do with individual perceptions than it does with ecological conditions.
Even so, most definitions of wilderness stress the natural state of the environment, the absence of human inhabitation, and the lack of other human-related influences and impacts (Carver et al, 2002).