Highlands Rewilding: Pioneers in Community Involvement

I have been hearing good things about Highlands Rewilding for a while, so I would like to let you know about them. Highlands Rewilding are pioneers in rewilding. They are a company “scaling rewilding for both nature recovery and community prosperity, in the Scottish Highlands”

Community Land Ownership

A frustration that many people have is that they want to get involved and even want to own some land that is suitable for rewilding; yet, don’t have sufficient funds to do this at scale. This is where Highlands Rewilding‘s model of co-ownership is pioneering a new approach to rewilding and land ownership. They are pioneering Community Involvement in their projects and have recently started a campaign to help them acquire more land and get more people involved in rewilding. This could be of great interest to people who want to  be involved in a well-organised rewilding project and co-owning rewilding land in the Scottish Highlands.

In such ways they are doing much to offset some of the misrepresentations and misconceptions about rewilding being “exclusive” and other falsities sometimes perpetrated by the tabloid press.  Highlands Rewilding emphasise that rewilding is inclusive and something that truly concerns us all. They are building social bridges and helping to inform and encourage participation in rewilding by different aspects of the wider community.

Community Prosperity

Highlands Rewilding reach out not only nature enthusiasts like myself, but also business people, landowners, local community, scientists, and so on. They look to harmonise ecological and economic needs in such a way that something truly sustainable can emerge from their projects.  “We are exploring options for joint ventures with community members, including regenerative agriculture, affordable-housing, eco-building, and zero-carbon energy.” They see building ‘community prosperity’ as a key part of their work.

Beldorney Estate

Lack of affordable-housing is a big concern in many parts of the Highlands where they operate, so it is heartening to see this issue being taken on board as a key part of their policies and future plans for rewilding. This is exactly the type of inspired, inclusive thinking that the rewilding movement needs in order to move out of the fringes and become widely accepted. Meeting the genuine needs of people and of nature is the way forward.

Bunloit Estate

Some of the other things I like about Highlands Rewilding is that they are already actively involved and have taken on two large estates in Scotland (Bunloit, 513 hectares and Beldorney, 349 hectares). They are engaged in research into nature-based solutions and biodiversity uplift measurements to “produce meaningful increases in biodiversity and carbon sequestration in woodland, peatland and pastureland”. Ultimately, they aim to help show how the climate and biodiversity crises can be averted.

Rewilding the World

In these times we need people and organisations who have bold and clear aims – aims intended to help bring people and nature together. We need those whose vision can contribute to creating useful and practical models for other rewilding projects globally. Highlands Rewilding can be part of this as they do indeed have bold and clear aims. “We aim to become one of the most impactful accelerators of nature-based solutions in the world, by 2026.” They are actively getting different elements of society to work together and it is only through us learning to work together that success in rewilding will be achieved.

I highly recommend that you check out Highlands Rewilding and see if you want to get yourself involved.

 


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