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New 'rewilding' movement in the Highlands aims to attract everyone from business leaders to school kids with spare pocket money

By Alasdair Fraser

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Rewilding team members in action at Bunloit Estate.
Rewilding team members in action at Bunloit Estate.

A new mass ownership company is looking to encourage everyone from company chief executives to school children with spare pocket money to invest in the rewilding of the Highlands.

Highlands Rewilding Ltd styles itself as a “vehicle for citizen rewilding”, offering people the chance to join a crowdfunding campaign to fund nature recovery and community prosperity.

The new firm emerged from the Bunloit Rewilding Project, which is based at Bunloit Estate in the hills above Loch Ness just south of the Drumnadrochit, and Beldorney Estate in Aberdeenshire.

The aim is to replicate the impact of the Bunloit model in locally

appropriate versions on other stretches of land across the Highlands.

The Bunloit model aims to increase biodiversity and carbon capture and storage while creating new local employment opportunities and raising ethical profits.

The crowdfunding campaign will seek to address the inequalities of land ownership in Scotland by offering people the chance to take a share in rewilding projects.

The company says it is thinking big on rewilding as “big problems require big solutions”.

Bunloit Estate where rewilding proved a success.
Bunloit Estate where rewilding proved a success.

The United Nations Secretary General António Guterres recently proclaimed that the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report was a “code red for humanity”.

Highlands Rewilding’s view is that the crises of our times cannot be tackled without full community involvement and an approach that provides space for wildlife and flora to flourish and communities to thrive. The crowdfunding campaign is set to launch before the COP26 – the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 – gathers in Glasgow at the start of November.

Jeremy Leggett, founder of Highlands Rewilding Ltd, said: “It offers a way to restore whole ecosystems, boosting biodiversity, carbon sequestration and job creation.

“As a holistic approach, it results in interlinked benefits for many habitats and species, including humans.

“We believe that rewilding on a large scale is a necessary response to our current situation as a planet.

“Tackling climate meltdown and biodiversity collapse requires the full fighting involvement of communities, if it is to have any chance of success.

“I hope this people-power company, marrying as it will capital across the full spectrum of investors who are rewilding enthusiasts, will prove as transformative as some of the companies I was privileged to see rise and prosper during the solar revolution.”

• More information is available at www.bunloit.com and on social media @bunloitrewild

Related stories:

PICTURES: rewilding centre is world first – as it cuts the first turf on its 10,000 acre site at Dundreggan, near Loch Ness

Ambitious plan for rewilding in the Highlands from Loch Ness to the west coast over the next 30 years

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