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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Coalition calls for Scotland to be the first rewilding nation in the world


Campaigners want Scottish Government to take bold action

A new charter is being called for so Scotland can become the world’s first rewilding nation.

Campaigners from the Scottish Rewilding Alliance, a coalition of 20 groups, have launched a Rewilding Nation Charter to back the move which coincides with the announcement that 2% of the country’s land is now rewilding.

Despite this, Scotland remains one of the most nature-depleted countries on earth, say campaigners, with the charter calling on the Scottish Government to commit to nature recovery across 30% of land and sea. 

The campaign includes a new feature-length film called Why Not Scotland?, which explores how rewilding could happen on a bigger scale in the country.

The documentary will be shown on a nationwide screening tour including Oban, Peebles, Dundee, and Inverness, following an Edinburgh premiere.

Steve Micklewright, Scottish Rewilding Alliance convenor and chief executive of Trees for Life, said: “Climate breakdown and nature loss mean we face an unprecedented threat to our way of life and our children’s future. But it’s not too late. Scotland can lead the way as a Rewilding Nation to benefit nature, climate and people.” 

Scotland is ranked 212 out of 240 countries and territories for the state of its nature, and 11% of its species face extinction. Intensive agriculture and climate breakdown are having the biggest impacts on biodiversity, according to the authoritative State of Nature 2023 report, with other threats including non-native forestry, pollution, and introduced species. 

Campaigners say this is undermining access to food, fresh water and clean air and is hampering efforts to lock away carbon as well as harming people’s health and wellbeing.  

But growing numbers of communities, charities, farmers and landowners are taking action to turn Scotland’s nature crisis around – helping society cope with climate breakdown’s floods, wildlife die-offs, droughts and crop failures, while creating jobs and economic opportunities. 

In the first-ever such figures released, the Scottish Rewilding Alliance calculates 2.1% of Scotland’s land is now rewilding, with more than 150 projects covering at least 160,000 hectares, from community woodlands to landscape-scale partnerships.

This includes members of Rewilding Britain’s UK-wide Rewilding Network, and the Scotland-wide Northwoods Rewilding Network, led by Scotland: The Big Picture.

Alliance member Tom Bowser, farmer and owner of Argaty Red Kites in Perthshire, said: “The nature and climate crises can feel overwhelming, but we can all make a difference by uniting behind a clear message. We’re calling on everyone who shares our hopes and sense of urgency to sign the Rewilding Nation Charter to help create a greener, fairer country.”



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Malcolm McArdle
2 months ago

After some time out from the Third Sector I am keen to re-engage and keep abreast of development.