The opening of the world’s first rewilding centre in the Scottish Highlands has offered a gateway to the UK’s largest nature recovery site. Near Loch Ness, the Dundreggan Rewilding Centre in Glenmoriston is located on a former deer-stalking estate. Dundreggan is part of the UK’s largest rewilding landscape called the Affric Highlands.
The 10,000-acre landscape was bought in 2008 by the Trees for Life charity and is being brought back to health, after many centuries the site was used for the grazing of sheep, cattle and deer.
There has been a reintroduction of rare native trees on the land. The reduction in grazing has allowed existing fragments of the threatened Caledonian Forest to thrive again. Golden eagles started breeding again on the estate for the first time in 40 years.
The rewilding centre which includes a café, classrooms, a storytelling bothy, and events space, as well as a 40-bedroom accommodation unit, will show visitors how large-scale nature recovery can be beneficial. The ways it does this is by inspiring experiences, creating jobs and benefiting rural communities. The centre has already created employment of 20 permanent roles.
A £2m crowdfunder by the sustainable bank Triodos made the centre possible. The money was raised in less than 48 hours from over 400 investors, of which 8 per cent were based in Scotland. The centre’s income generation will support Trees for Life in its aim to rewild the Scottish Highlands.
Photo: (c) Paul Campbell Photography