European Rewilding Network

Bamff Wildland

Rewilding an eco-estate in the Scottish Highlands

Bamff Wildland initiative is working to create a wilder, more biodiverse landscape governed by natural processes.
Dave Maric
Rewilding the part of the estate began in the early 90s, with the restoration of wetlands and regeneration of native woodland followed by the reintroduction of beavers in 2002.
Dave Maric
Visitors can see many species of birds at Bamff. There are also a lot of wild mammals including roe deer, occasional fallow and red deer, hares, rabbits, foxes, badgers, red squirrels, otters, water voles, beavers, hedgehogs, mice, shrews, voles and possibly wild cats.
Located on the edge of the Scottish Highlands, Bamff is a small estate in northeast Perthshire, comprising 530 hectares of farmland, woodland, wetland and hills.
Bamff Wildland's crowdfunding success is a great example of how public enthusiasm and support for rewilding is growing and can directly contribute to rewilding initiatives.
The estate has shown how a traditional farm can be converted into a sustainable rewilding business that benefits people, nature and climate.

Bamff Wildland is a rewilding project located in an upland Scottish estate. The restoration of Bamff began in the early 1990s with the recreation of wetlands and planting of native woodlands. In 2002, in the first project of its kind in the UK, beavers were introduced to the estate. Around one third of the estate is woodland and the beavers have transformed the landscape and created a large area of wetland and pools. This rewilding project also involves the removal of sheep from twelve fields (carried out in December 2020) and introduction of small numbers of native breeds of cattle, ponies and pigs. Fences will be removed to allow free movement of animals, and natural regeneration will be encouraged.

There are many species of birds seen at Bamff. There are also a lot of wild mammals including roe deer, occasional fallow and red deer, hares, rabbits, foxes, badgers, stoats, weasels, pole cats, pine martens, red squirrels, otters, water voles, beavers, hedgehogs, mice, shrews, voles and possibly wild cats.

The aim is to create a diverse mosaic of dynamic habitats – putting nature back in charge but assisting with a range of temporary interventions: small copses of native trees, nesting boxes and platforms for birds – bat boxes, wildflower plantings etc. This project follows and complements the beaver demonstration which has already successfully rewilded much of the riparian zone, turning agricultural ditches into a string of wildlife rich pools, braided streams and about sixty woody dams.

Project: Bamff Wildland
Region: Perthshire
Type of project: Fostering the development of nature based economies, Increasing interest in the wild through communications, Magnification of rewilding impact and practices
Aim and vision: We aim to help address the climate and biodiversity crises by enhancing natural processes on former upland sheep pasture in Scotland. We aim to monitor and communicate the outcomes to spread support for rewilding across Scotland and beyond, and work collaboratively with like-minded people and organisations to inspire, educate and influence the public and governments.

Our vision is of a world where wildlife flourishes and forests and scrub regenerate naturally - where farming or sport are not the automatic land uses on all marginal land and where wildlife corridors thread through farms and cities connecting the Wildland. This is why we are working to develop viable financial models to support rewilding on our land.
Uniqueness of the project: Bamff was the first place in Scotland to have a major beaver reintroduction project. After 20 years, beavers are well established and have restored riparian wetlands on a large area, by damming agricultural drainage ditches. We are now pioneering rewilding through natural grazing on a formerly productive upland sheep farm.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, High-impact communications, Recreational activities, Research
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: We hope to have improved biodiversity on former fields creating a dynamic mosaic of habitats, with the presence of meadows, scrublands, and re-naturalised woods with a biodiverse understory including wildflowers. We want to encourage natural regeneration, natural grazing in former fields and woods, carbon sequestration and the mitigation of flood and drought. We also hope to host an eco-education programme, to share the knowledge and experience we have gained through our rewilding project.
Results so far: Our work so far has resulted in extensive beaver wetlands filled with wildlife of all kinds - measured by scientists of all levels up to PhD from several universities - including Stirling and UCL. We started and are running a successful ecotourism business with accommodation, wildlife walks and beaver watching.
Inspirational value: Bamff has become known for its fascinating beaver project and abundant wildlife which attracts many wildlife enthusiasts and experts throughout the year, as well as many visitors who wish to stay in the various accommodation dedicated to ecotourism. Furthermore, several PhDs and other pieces of scientific work have been done at Bamff, which have expanded human knowledge of rewilding and nature restoration.
Experience you would like to share: We would like to share our family’s experience of reintroducing beavers, and developing an eco-tourism business, how to create and share a successful crowd funding campaign, work with local farmers and develop a monitoring programme with citizen science.
Experience you would like to gain: We would love to learn about how to start a natural grazing initiative, how to engage with and host local volunteers, and learn about various monitoring techniques.
Map
Country
UK, Scotland
Start year
2002
Size (ha)
526
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Temperate deciduous forest, Wetlands
Natural process
Natural grazing, River dynamics, Wetland dynamics
Flagship species
Beaver, Feral boar, Feral cattle, Feral horses, Otter, Roe deer
Bamff Wildland
Bamff Wildland initiative is working to create a wilder, more biodiverse landscape governed by natural processes.
Dave Maric
Rewilding the part of the estate began in the early 90s, with the restoration of wetlands and regeneration of native woodland followed by the reintroduction of beavers in 2002.
Dave Maric
Visitors can see many species of birds at Bamff. There are also a lot of wild mammals including roe deer, occasional fallow and red deer, hares, rabbits, foxes, badgers, red squirrels, otters, water voles, beavers, hedgehogs, mice, shrews, voles and possibly wild cats.
Located on the edge of the Scottish Highlands, Bamff is a small estate in northeast Perthshire, comprising 530 hectares of farmland, woodland, wetland and hills.
Bamff Wildland's crowdfunding success is a great example of how public enthusiasm and support for rewilding is growing and can directly contribute to rewilding initiatives.
The estate has shown how a traditional farm can be converted into a sustainable rewilding business that benefits people, nature and climate.

Bamff Wildland is a rewilding project located in an upland Scottish estate. The restoration of Bamff began in the early 1990s with the recreation of wetlands and planting of native woodlands. In 2002, in the first project of its kind in the UK, beavers were introduced to the estate. Around one third of the estate is woodland and the beavers have transformed the landscape and created a large area of wetland and pools. This rewilding project also involves the removal of sheep from twelve fields (carried out in December 2020) and introduction of small numbers of native breeds of cattle, ponies and pigs. Fences will be removed to allow free movement of animals, and natural regeneration will be encouraged.

There are many species of birds seen at Bamff. There are also a lot of wild mammals including roe deer, occasional fallow and red deer, hares, rabbits, foxes, badgers, stoats, weasels, pole cats, pine martens, red squirrels, otters, water voles, beavers, hedgehogs, mice, shrews, voles and possibly wild cats.

The aim is to create a diverse mosaic of dynamic habitats – putting nature back in charge but assisting with a range of temporary interventions: small copses of native trees, nesting boxes and platforms for birds – bat boxes, wildflower plantings etc. This project follows and complements the beaver demonstration which has already successfully rewilded much of the riparian zone, turning agricultural ditches into a string of wildlife rich pools, braided streams and about sixty woody dams.

Map
Country
UK, Scotland
Start year
2002
Size (ha)
526
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Temperate deciduous forest, Wetlands
Natural process
Natural grazing, River dynamics, Wetland dynamics
Flagship species
Beaver, Feral boar, Feral cattle, Feral horses, Otter, Roe deer
Specification
Project: Bamff Wildland
Region: Perthshire
Description
Type of project: Fostering the development of nature based economies, Increasing interest in the wild through communications, Magnification of rewilding impact and practices
Aim and vision: We aim to help address the climate and biodiversity crises by enhancing natural processes on former upland sheep pasture in Scotland. We aim to monitor and communicate the outcomes to spread support for rewilding across Scotland and beyond, and work collaboratively with like-minded people and organisations to inspire, educate and influence the public and governments.

Our vision is of a world where wildlife flourishes and forests and scrub regenerate naturally - where farming or sport are not the automatic land uses on all marginal land and where wildlife corridors thread through farms and cities connecting the Wildland. This is why we are working to develop viable financial models to support rewilding on our land.
Uniqueness of the project: Bamff was the first place in Scotland to have a major beaver reintroduction project. After 20 years, beavers are well established and have restored riparian wetlands on a large area, by damming agricultural drainage ditches. We are now pioneering rewilding through natural grazing on a formerly productive upland sheep farm.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, High-impact communications, Recreational activities, Research
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: We hope to have improved biodiversity on former fields creating a dynamic mosaic of habitats, with the presence of meadows, scrublands, and re-naturalised woods with a biodiverse understory including wildflowers. We want to encourage natural regeneration, natural grazing in former fields and woods, carbon sequestration and the mitigation of flood and drought. We also hope to host an eco-education programme, to share the knowledge and experience we have gained through our rewilding project.
Results so far: Our work so far has resulted in extensive beaver wetlands filled with wildlife of all kinds - measured by scientists of all levels up to PhD from several universities - including Stirling and UCL. We started and are running a successful ecotourism business with accommodation, wildlife walks and beaver watching.
Exchange
Inspirational value: Bamff has become known for its fascinating beaver project and abundant wildlife which attracts many wildlife enthusiasts and experts throughout the year, as well as many visitors who wish to stay in the various accommodation dedicated to ecotourism. Furthermore, several PhDs and other pieces of scientific work have been done at Bamff, which have expanded human knowledge of rewilding and nature restoration.
Experience you would like to share: We would like to share our family’s experience of reintroducing beavers, and developing an eco-tourism business, how to create and share a successful crowd funding campaign, work with local farmers and develop a monitoring programme with citizen science.
Experience you would like to gain: We would love to learn about how to start a natural grazing initiative, how to engage with and host local volunteers, and learn about various monitoring techniques.
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