Native Highland cattle graze long-deserted hills and an area of a recently felled commercial plantation on this site in the Knapdale National Scenic Area – overlooking the Sound of Jura. Bracken and rushes blanket the hills and valleys every summer and self-sown birch, alder and willow are fast closing over the rotting stumps of plantation trees that were harvested in 2005. The low-intensity, non-selective cattle grazing is already helping to create a more diverse and stable habitat.
Key rewilding commitments:
- REINSTATE NATURAL GRAZING: Native cattle encourage a mosaic of habitats by grazing, trampling and spreading nutrient-rich dung. Their meat also provides a commercial opportunity where none would otherwise exist. Plans are in hand to bring in native ponies and neutered pigs to further diversify opportunities for wildlife.
- CONNECT WITH COMMUNITIES: Efforts continue to remove spruce and rhododendron, and reinstate former access paths, which it is hoped will encourage local people and businesses to recognise and realise the potential of this part of Scotland.
"With cattle as the driver, I want to restore some of what's been lost and prove that it's commercially viable to do so."
David Stewart, Owner and Leaseholder