Boost for Scotland’s wilderness and wildlife

Boost for Scotland’s wilderness and wildlife
Glen Affric © Grant Willoughby

Scotland’s international reputation as a key destination for experiencing world-class wild landscapes and outstanding wildlife is to be boosted by Trees for Life joining a prestigious and growing European association of rewilding projects.

The conservation charity was invited to become a member of the European Rewilding Network, placing its restoration of the globally unique Caledonian Forest in the Highlands, especially in Glen Affric and Glenmoriston, firmly on the European map.

Trees for Life’s chief executive Steve Micklewright said: “To have our work saving the Caledonian Forest – Scotland’s equivalent of the Amazonian rainforest – recognised in this way is a major milestone, and highlights its European significance.”

Rewilding Europe, based in the Netherlands, co-ordinates the European Rewilding Network. Its managing director, Frans Schepers, said: “Having Trees for Life join our network of major rewilding initiatives is a positive step forwards in making Europe a wilder place. The charity’s pioneering work shows how we can all help save and restore globally important places like the Caledonian Forest.”

Trees for Life believes that the benefits of rewilding include further establishing Scotland as a wildlife tourism hotspot and a world leader in the international drive to tackle forest and biodiversity loss.

A review of Scotland’s wildlife tourism sector by VisitScotland this year highlighted how the country’s landscapes, Nature and wildlife are key reasons for people to choose it as a travel destination.

Just 1% of the forest’s original area remains, but Trees for Life has already restored large areas in Glen Affric and at Dundreggan Conservation Estate in Glenmoriston through planting 1.3 million trees and encouraging natural regeneration.

Trees for Life qualified for membership of the European Rewilding Network through its large-scale restoration of the Caledonian Forest.

To find out more about Trees for Life’s award-winning work, visit www.treesforlife.org.uk.

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