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Rewilding requires us all to think differently about Scotland’s nature. You can use your voice, your time, your skills and your money to help.

Using your voice

By learning about the benefits of rewilding and enthusing others, you can become a catalyst for fresh thinking and new, exciting conversations. Here are a few principles of rewilding in Scotland:

  • Allowing natural processes to flourish unimpeded such as predator-prey dynamics and carcass scavenging. 
  • Expanding and re-connecting native woodlands including creating standing and fallen dead wood and planting ‘food trees’ which produce berries and nuts.
  • Encouraging river restoration through improvement of riparian habitats and allowing natural debris to accumulate in river channels.
  • Developing a natural treeline and reinstating high altitude vegetation such as montane scrub. 
  • Restoring wetlands and peatlands on a catchment scale. 
  • Establishing more marine conservation zones. 
  • Strengthening and connecting areas that are already protected. 
  • A willingness to embrace the reintroduction of native species to drive natural processes.
  • Promoting nature-based, sustainable economic activity. 

You can learn more about rewilding in a Scottish context here.

 

Here are some facts to back up why rewilding is necessary:

  • Some of Scotland’s key wildlife species have declined by 77% over the last 50 years.
  • Britain has lost more of its large mammals than almost any other European country.
  • Our forest cover extends to only 12% where in the rest of Europe, the average is 37%.
  • Rewilding will help to improve poor water quality, low pollination levels and the adverse effects of climate change.
  • Beavers create habitats that allow hundreds of other species to flourish and they could also help alleviate flooding.
  • Foraging wild boar could turn a dull woodland floor into a vibrant, rich carpet of flowers and plants.
  • Wolves could improve the health of rivers by dispersing grazing animals which impact on bankside vegetation.
  • Lynx would be an inexpensive and natural way of controlling forest deer numbers, which have proliferated in the absence of natural predators.

“Like many thinking people, we see biodiversity and ecosystems collapsing around us. So we've rolled up our sleeves and gotten to work. We have no choice: otherwise we might as well kiss our beautiful planet goodbye.”

 Doug & Kris Tompkins, Conservation Patagonia.

Using your time

  • Stand up for nature by signing relevant online petitions and promoting them on social media.
  • Inform your local press about rewilding stories in the news.
  • Write letters to landowners and policymakers urging them to integrate nature into everything they do.
  • Speak to your neighbours about ways you can ‘connect’ your gardens to create mini wildlife corridors.
  • Canvass your council not to strim every verge to within an inch of its life! Rough grassland is great for wildflowers, insects and small mammals. Find out more here ›
  • Tell your local planners that wildlife is important and to think ‘connectivity’ (green bridges or underpasses are a great example) when considering new developments or changes in land use.
  • Speak passionately to friends, relatives and neighbours about why wild nature is important for all of us. Ask them to support rewilding initiatives – see below.
  • Volunteer with your local conservation charity or wildlife community. If we all chip in we can look forward to a wilder and more prosperous Scotland.

Using your skills

  • Create a pond in your garden that will provide a home for plants, insects and amphibians. Tell your friends and relatives to do the same.
  • Plant native trees and shrubs (of local provenance) that will feed and shelter birds and mammals. Tell your friends and relatives to do the same. 
  • Try not to be so tidy! Long grass, log piles and dead wood are fantastic places for all manner of creatures so leave some ‘wild’ in your garden. And tell your friends and relatives to do the same. Learn more about wildlife gardening here ›
  • If you have a professional skill, consider offering to help a local conservation charity.

 

"With the western world governed mainly by people who are actively hostile to conservation, I genuinely fear for the future of our wildlife and wild places. Thank goodness there is hope for a wilder, more natural, more secure Scotland." 

Mark Carwardine, Naturalist, Photographer, Presenter.

Using your money

  • Join an organisation that supports rewilding. In Scotland these include:
    Trees For Life, John Muir Trust, The Borders Forest Trust
  • Consider buying Christmas or wedding gifts which contribute to rewilding (dedicating a native tree grove for example).
  • When travelling use the services of local guides and suppliers who live and work in the area and who support a sustainable, nature-based economy.
  • Think about your purchasing power and try to buy your food and goods from suppliers that integrate sound environmental practices into their businesses.
  • Don’t put your money in a bank which cannot demonstrate an ethical investment policy.
  • If you run a business, consider becoming a corporate partner of a rewilding organisation.
  • Consider leaving a lasting legacy in your will.
  • Donate to SCOTLAND: The Big Picture to help us continue our work. Donate here ›