European Rewilding Network

Affric Highlands

A landscape-scale partnership of landowners to reinvigorate wildlife and communities

View over regenerating woodland alongside Loch Affric, Glen Affric, Scotland.
Peter Cairns
Pine marten in a flowering heather
Mark Hamblin
Autumn reflections ion Loch Beinn.
Peter Cairns
Red deer stag silhouetted at sunset
Mark Hamblin

In the Affric Highlands rewilding area Rewilding Europe is working with Trees for Life and other local partners to aid the recovery of natural landscape, and restore the ancient Caledonian pinewood. Natural corridors like rivers and mountain ridges will become more wooded. Wild forests and scrublands, connected by naturally regenerating tree cover, will increasingly support a rich biodiversity. Plantations will be selectively replaced with native forest. And natural grazing will play its part as a catalyst for biodiversity. Deer will play their part too with more carrion sustaining more life up and down the food chain.

Habitats will be reconnected to facilitate wildlife movement, with fences removed and a contiguous wild and dynamic area established in collaboration with landowners. This will also support the comeback of the Scottish wildcat to the area. Work is in progress to reintroduce this legendary, yet critically endangered flagship species that depends greatly on habitat connectivity.

This project is an ambitious landscape-scale rewilding initiative that stretches from Loch Ness on the east coast of the central Highlands across to Kintail in the west – taking in Glens Cannich, Affric, Moriston and Shiel. A network of land is poised to be restored, boosting habitat connectivity, species diversity and social and economic opportunities in the region.

Project: Affric Highlands
Region: Scotland
Type of project: Creating space for wilder nature, Fostering the development of nature based economies, Increasing interest in the wild through communications, Magnification of rewilding impact and practices, Supporting wildlife comeback
Aim and vision: Our aim is to have reconnected pockets of habitat across the rewilding area providing more corridors for wildlife movement across the whole landscape. We also want more complex grasslands and scrubs, aided by the grazing of large herbivores, and natural regeneration taking place over extensive areas with river banks becoming more wooded.
We want to have rewetted peatlands that become a haven for invertebrates and rare flora, while soaking up carbon. We aim for a more functional landscape, where natural processes are the driving force, shaping a promising new setting for nature and people.
Our vision is to transform the Affric Highlands into a wild refuge for many iconic species, enriching the local economy with nature-based initiatives that form more resilient ecosystems and communities. It is a partnership that will demonstrate the interdependence of nature, people and business.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, High-impact communications, Research
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: We will have taken steps to restore forests and peatlands and the local people will benefit from new revenue streams for community businesses and landowners. We will have restored eroded peatland and planted new woodlands. We will start to address climate change and create the conditions for species like salmon, otters and ospreys to start to thrive again. We are also hoping to bring the Scottish wildcat back to this landscape for the long term.
Inspirational value: This rewilding area and project is based on cooperation and partnership to build a better future for Scottish people and wildlife.
Experience you would like to share: The work with local partners to transform and rewild landscapes.
Experience you would like to gain: Exchange with other teams on examples on long-term stakeholder involvement, such as landowners, local communities. Exchange on re-wetting, flooding and river dynamics. Enhancing local nature tourism facilities.
Map
Country
UK, Scotland
Start year
2019
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Peatland, River
Natural process
Natural grazing, River dynamics
Flagship species
Beaver, Scottish wildcat
Affric Highlands
View over regenerating woodland alongside Loch Affric, Glen Affric, Scotland.
Peter Cairns
Pine marten in a flowering heather
Mark Hamblin
Autumn reflections ion Loch Beinn.
Peter Cairns
Red deer stag silhouetted at sunset
Mark Hamblin

In the Affric Highlands rewilding area Rewilding Europe is working with Trees for Life and other local partners to aid the recovery of natural landscape, and restore the ancient Caledonian pinewood. Natural corridors like rivers and mountain ridges will become more wooded. Wild forests and scrublands, connected by naturally regenerating tree cover, will increasingly support a rich biodiversity. Plantations will be selectively replaced with native forest. And natural grazing will play its part as a catalyst for biodiversity. Deer will play their part too with more carrion sustaining more life up and down the food chain.

Habitats will be reconnected to facilitate wildlife movement, with fences removed and a contiguous wild and dynamic area established in collaboration with landowners. This will also support the comeback of the Scottish wildcat to the area. Work is in progress to reintroduce this legendary, yet critically endangered flagship species that depends greatly on habitat connectivity.

This project is an ambitious landscape-scale rewilding initiative that stretches from Loch Ness on the east coast of the central Highlands across to Kintail in the west – taking in Glens Cannich, Affric, Moriston and Shiel. A network of land is poised to be restored, boosting habitat connectivity, species diversity and social and economic opportunities in the region.

Map
Country
UK, Scotland
Start year
2019
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Peatland, River
Natural process
Natural grazing, River dynamics
Flagship species
Beaver, Scottish wildcat
Specification
Project: Affric Highlands
Region: Scotland
Description
Type of project: Creating space for wilder nature, Fostering the development of nature based economies, Increasing interest in the wild through communications, Magnification of rewilding impact and practices, Supporting wildlife comeback
Aim and vision: Our aim is to have reconnected pockets of habitat across the rewilding area providing more corridors for wildlife movement across the whole landscape. We also want more complex grasslands and scrubs, aided by the grazing of large herbivores, and natural regeneration taking place over extensive areas with river banks becoming more wooded.
We want to have rewetted peatlands that become a haven for invertebrates and rare flora, while soaking up carbon. We aim for a more functional landscape, where natural processes are the driving force, shaping a promising new setting for nature and people.
Our vision is to transform the Affric Highlands into a wild refuge for many iconic species, enriching the local economy with nature-based initiatives that form more resilient ecosystems and communities. It is a partnership that will demonstrate the interdependence of nature, people and business.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, High-impact communications, Research
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: We will have taken steps to restore forests and peatlands and the local people will benefit from new revenue streams for community businesses and landowners. We will have restored eroded peatland and planted new woodlands. We will start to address climate change and create the conditions for species like salmon, otters and ospreys to start to thrive again. We are also hoping to bring the Scottish wildcat back to this landscape for the long term.
Exchange
Inspirational value: This rewilding area and project is based on cooperation and partnership to build a better future for Scottish people and wildlife.
Experience you would like to share: The work with local partners to transform and rewild landscapes.
Experience you would like to gain: Exchange with other teams on examples on long-term stakeholder involvement, such as landowners, local communities. Exchange on re-wetting, flooding and river dynamics. Enhancing local nature tourism facilities.
Affric Highlands
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