The world’s first rewilding centre has begun work, which will be located on the 10,000 acre Dundreggan estate in Glenmoriston
Here’s some news that will make your heart sing – the world’s first rewilding centre, which will be located on the 10,000-acre Dundreggan estate in the heart of the Highlands of Scotland, and it’s opening within a year.
Exploited for centuries by farming and animal grazing, the land is being nursed back to it’s original state, under the care of charity Trees for Life, which bought the estate in 2008.
Tree-planting programmes started and already reintroduced rare varieties to remote areas where the tress have all but vanished, and the charity has also overseen a reduction in grazing pressure which has helped existing fragments of threatened Caledonian Forest – dubbed Scotland’s ‘rainforest’ – to thrive again.
National Lottery funding has provided £2m to help boost the new center, which has also seen aditional upport from Gaelic language body Bòrd na Gàidhlig. Trees for Life also raised £2m of investment via a bond offer on the Triodos Bank crowdfunding platform, and further appeals have garnered a further £32,000 to date, well above the initial £25,000 target.
“2022 is an exciting year for all of us involved with the Rewilding Centre,” director Laurelin Cummins-Fraser, has stated. “We cannot wait to see the tangible results of the past four years of planning and fundraising. The most exciting moment will be opening the doors to our visitors and taking them along the journey we have created, to share the natural and cultural heritage unique to Dundreggan and provide opportunities to learn about and engage with rewilding.”
The estate is home to more than 4,000 animal and plant species, including species previously feared extinct in Scotland. Visitors will have a chance to explore an upgraded network of trails around Dundreggan, and the centre itself will boast onsite accommodation and even interactive displays. A unique reclaimed and Gaelic-inspired tree sculpture by Scottish sculptor Helen Denerley will be a focal point.
Steve Micklewright, Trees for Life’s chief executive, said: “Dundreggan Rewilding Centre will be a place for people from all walks of life to rewild themselves by exploring and enjoying a remarkable wild landscape in a beautiful Highland glen, and to spend time learning about the area’s unique wildlife and inspiring Gaelic history.”
Main image: Alex Baxter/Trees for Life