Rewilding – the restoration of the living systems we all depend upon - is increasingly recognised as a transformational approach to addressing the dual crises of climate breakdown and global nature loss, with potential to re-establish our frayed connection with the natural world and provide new social and economic opportunities.
However, in Scotland, rewilding can be divisive, connected as it is to questions around how land should be managed, accessed and valued, the role of field sports and traditional rural livelihoods, and the power of rural communities to direct their own destinies.
Across the spaces where rewilding is discussed, we see entrenched, impassioned opinions from both extremes of the debate, often delivered from a place of tribal loyalty, with little tolerance for different perspectives. We see this as a limiting factor in the success, scale and credibility of rewilding.
With Building Bridges, we want to diffuse the hostility that can stifle the rewilding conversation, and dispel the notion that rewilding has to be a choice between the needs of nature and those of people. By building bridges across traditional boundaries, we can create lasting, shared solutions that work for both.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
- Conversations around rewilding can be fractious, blocking pathways to positive change. Building knowledge, sharing stories and listening to different perspectives can help open these pathways.
- A narrative of despair and division rarely propels people into behavioural change. Instead, we need to find common ground and unite around positive visions for Scotland's future.
- Scotland has a critical role to play in climate breakdown and global nature loss, and rewilding is an important part of the solution to both.
HEARTS & MINDS
In 2021, we commissioned a report to identify the social and cultural barriers to rewilding in Scotland. Hearts & Minds seeks to assess those barriers and crucially, how they might be overcome.