European Rewilding Network

Bunloit Rewilding

Building back better for nature, people and planet

Aerial view of the 511-hectare Bunloit Estate in the Scottish Highlands, which overlooks Loch Ness.
STRUTT & PARKER
Bunloit is a typical Scottish Highland estate, with a varied landscape comprising of woodlands, peatland and grassland and diverse wildlife.
Bunloit
The Bunloit Estate sits on the eastern edge of the proposed East-West Wild landscape corridor, which runs westward from Loch Ness to the coast, encompassing Glens Cannich, Affric, Moriston and Shiel.
Bunloit
Natural grazing is already taking place at Bunloit.
Bunloit
Rewilding of the Bunloit Estate will enhance wild nature, boost the local economy and lock up carbon.
Bunloit
Bunloit’s eclectic mix of woodland is home to both broadleaf and coniferous trees, with native species such as Caledonian pine and birch.
Bunloit
Some of the wood harvested on the Bunloit Estate will be used by Makar, a local company that designs and builds climate-friendly eco-homes. A limited number of these will be built on the Bunloit Estate.
Bunloit

Bunloit is a Scottish Highland estate, with a varied landscape and diverse wildlife. The Bunloit Rewilding Project aims to demonstrate a new type of land management, better for nature, people
and ultimately the planet.

Rewilding the estate will focus on ecosystem restoration and regeneration of woodland, peatland and pasture. A rewilding-focused management model will harvest some of the
non-native plantations and replace them with native species through planting/replanting/natural regeneration. Felling plantations on peatland and blocking drainage ditches should increase its capacity as a biodiverse carbon sink. A mix of grazing animals to resemble ancestral herbivores is planned to increase the pasture biodiversity through conservation grazing.

Bunloit Rewilding aims to undertake ground-breaking research into natural capital and nature-based solutions. The research strategy involves a carbon and biodiversity baseline
assessment of the estate, followed by further monitoring in future years to create an evidence-based yearly data set. Analysis of this will inform decisions on estate management to increase
carbon sequestration and biodiversity and facilitate the sale of high quality, evidence-based natural capital credits. The project intends to work with other researchers to collect a large evidence base accessible to all.

Ethical profits from woodland eco-building and other nature-based solutions such as eco-tourism, sustainable forestry and natural capital credit income will be reinvested into Bunloit Rewilding activities. Bunloit has great scalability potential and the idea is to develop a land portfolio on which to replicate and expand the new type of land management intended at Bunloit. Additionally, Bunloit sits on the eastern edge of the proposed East West Wild Landscape Corridor which aims to enhance the wild nature and nature-based economy of the area by forming a coalition of landowners and communities.

Project: Bunloit Rewilding
Region: UK, Scotland
Type of project: Fostering the development of nature based economies, Increasing interest in the wild through communications
Aim and vision: - Increase carbon sequestration and biodiversity through ecosystem restoration, regeneration and rewilding.
- Become an exemplar for natural capital research and nature based solutions.
- Provide educational, research and cultural opportunities.
- Work with local communities to build back better in a rural version of the Green New Deal through zero carbon timber eco-enterprise workshops and homes.
- Replicate and scale the Bunloit model to maximise the benefits to nature, people and the planet from this new type of land management.
The coexistence of people and nature is at the heart of Bunloit’s vision.
Uniqueness of the project: By creating green and sustainable opportunities for affordable housing and employment we hope to include people in our rewilding landscape. This way we could tackle the climate and biodiversity crises in tandem with the depopulation and housing issues faced by rural Highland communities.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, High-impact communications, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: - Verifiable increases in carbon sequestration and biodiversity across Highlands Rewilding.
- Significant progress in the research fields of natural capital verification science and nature based solutions.
- Creation of employment and affordable housing opportunities.
- Generation of sustainable and ethical profits.
Results so far: - Development of a draft research strategy and draft woodland eco-building masterplan.
- Ongoing community consultation and outreach in Glen Urquhart.
- Development of an extensive knowledge base to inform decision making due to 12 months of consultation with relevant experts and organisations.
- Acquisition of Highland Cattle for our conservation grazing mix.
Inspirational value: Wide ranging and inspirational knowledge, advice and feedback from scientific experts, rewilding experts, relevant organisations, key community players, the wider community and politicians.
Experience you would like to share: We’ve found setting aside a lengthy consultation period to learn as much as possible incredibly valuable for decision making. We’ve also gained experience in community outreach, particularly in
finding alternative consultation methods during a pandemic. We have some experience from the beginning of our baseline carbon and biodiversity sampling.
Experience you would like to gain: We would like to gain further experience in rewilding practices, natural capital research, community engagement, sustainable forestry, conservation grazing, deer and wild boar management and potentially agroforestry and silvopasture.
Map
Country
UK, Scotland
Start year
2020
Size (ha)
511
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Northern coniferous forest, Peatland, Temperate deciduous forest
Natural process
Natural grazing
Flagship species
Feral boar, Feral horses, Red deer, Roe deer
Bunloit Rewilding
Member of:
Rewilding Europe Capital
Aerial view of the 511-hectare Bunloit Estate in the Scottish Highlands, which overlooks Loch Ness.
STRUTT & PARKER
Bunloit is a typical Scottish Highland estate, with a varied landscape comprising of woodlands, peatland and grassland and diverse wildlife.
Bunloit
The Bunloit Estate sits on the eastern edge of the proposed East-West Wild landscape corridor, which runs westward from Loch Ness to the coast, encompassing Glens Cannich, Affric, Moriston and Shiel.
Bunloit
Natural grazing is already taking place at Bunloit.
Bunloit
Rewilding of the Bunloit Estate will enhance wild nature, boost the local economy and lock up carbon.
Bunloit
Bunloit’s eclectic mix of woodland is home to both broadleaf and coniferous trees, with native species such as Caledonian pine and birch.
Bunloit
Some of the wood harvested on the Bunloit Estate will be used by Makar, a local company that designs and builds climate-friendly eco-homes. A limited number of these will be built on the Bunloit Estate.
Bunloit

Bunloit is a Scottish Highland estate, with a varied landscape and diverse wildlife. The Bunloit Rewilding Project aims to demonstrate a new type of land management, better for nature, people
and ultimately the planet.

Rewilding the estate will focus on ecosystem restoration and regeneration of woodland, peatland and pasture. A rewilding-focused management model will harvest some of the
non-native plantations and replace them with native species through planting/replanting/natural regeneration. Felling plantations on peatland and blocking drainage ditches should increase its capacity as a biodiverse carbon sink. A mix of grazing animals to resemble ancestral herbivores is planned to increase the pasture biodiversity through conservation grazing.

Bunloit Rewilding aims to undertake ground-breaking research into natural capital and nature-based solutions. The research strategy involves a carbon and biodiversity baseline
assessment of the estate, followed by further monitoring in future years to create an evidence-based yearly data set. Analysis of this will inform decisions on estate management to increase
carbon sequestration and biodiversity and facilitate the sale of high quality, evidence-based natural capital credits. The project intends to work with other researchers to collect a large evidence base accessible to all.

Ethical profits from woodland eco-building and other nature-based solutions such as eco-tourism, sustainable forestry and natural capital credit income will be reinvested into Bunloit Rewilding activities. Bunloit has great scalability potential and the idea is to develop a land portfolio on which to replicate and expand the new type of land management intended at Bunloit. Additionally, Bunloit sits on the eastern edge of the proposed East West Wild Landscape Corridor which aims to enhance the wild nature and nature-based economy of the area by forming a coalition of landowners and communities.

Map
Country
UK, Scotland
Start year
2020
Size (ha)
511
Area type
Forest-grassland mosaic, Northern coniferous forest, Peatland, Temperate deciduous forest
Natural process
Natural grazing
Flagship species
Feral boar, Feral horses, Red deer, Roe deer
Specification
Project: Bunloit Rewilding
Region: UK, Scotland
Description
Type of project: Fostering the development of nature based economies, Increasing interest in the wild through communications
Aim and vision: - Increase carbon sequestration and biodiversity through ecosystem restoration, regeneration and rewilding.
- Become an exemplar for natural capital research and nature based solutions.
- Provide educational, research and cultural opportunities.
- Work with local communities to build back better in a rural version of the Green New Deal through zero carbon timber eco-enterprise workshops and homes.
- Replicate and scale the Bunloit model to maximise the benefits to nature, people and the planet from this new type of land management.
The coexistence of people and nature is at the heart of Bunloit’s vision.
Uniqueness of the project: By creating green and sustainable opportunities for affordable housing and employment we hope to include people in our rewilding landscape. This way we could tackle the climate and biodiversity crises in tandem with the depopulation and housing issues faced by rural Highland communities.
Other activities: Community involved, Eco tourism, Education, High-impact communications, Recreational activities, Research, Sale of sustainable products
Achievements
Results you aim to accomplish in 10 years from now on: - Verifiable increases in carbon sequestration and biodiversity across Highlands Rewilding.
- Significant progress in the research fields of natural capital verification science and nature based solutions.
- Creation of employment and affordable housing opportunities.
- Generation of sustainable and ethical profits.
Results so far: - Development of a draft research strategy and draft woodland eco-building masterplan.
- Ongoing community consultation and outreach in Glen Urquhart.
- Development of an extensive knowledge base to inform decision making due to 12 months of consultation with relevant experts and organisations.
- Acquisition of Highland Cattle for our conservation grazing mix.
Exchange
Inspirational value: Wide ranging and inspirational knowledge, advice and feedback from scientific experts, rewilding experts, relevant organisations, key community players, the wider community and politicians.
Experience you would like to share: We’ve found setting aside a lengthy consultation period to learn as much as possible incredibly valuable for decision making. We’ve also gained experience in community outreach, particularly in<br /> finding alternative consultation methods during a pandemic. We have some experience from the beginning of our baseline carbon and biodiversity sampling.
Experience you would like to gain: We would like to gain further experience in rewilding practices, natural capital research, community engagement, sustainable forestry, conservation grazing, deer and wild boar management and potentially agroforestry and silvopasture.
Bunloit Rewilding
Member of:
Rewilding Europe Capital
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