Trees for Life is opening what it is calling the world’s first rewilding centre near Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands on Saturday. The charity hopes to showcase how large-scale nature recovery “can give people inspiring experiences, create jobs and benefit rural communities.”
The Dundreggan Rewilding Centre in Glenmoriston offers a gateway for visitors to explore the 10,000-acre Dundreggan estate, where Trees for Life is restoring the Caledonian forest and its wildlife.
“For 15 years, Dundreggan has been a beacon for rewilding our landscapes. Now it will be a beacon for rewilding people too,” said Steve Micklewright, Trees for Life’s chief executive.
“This is a place of hope. We want to breathe life into the huge potential of the Highlands to help nature return in a major way – providing people from all walks of life with fantastic experiences while supporting re-peopling, boosting social and economic opportunities, and tackling the climate and nature emergencies.”
Year-round events and experiences will take place at the centre, which also features a tree sculpture created from reclaimed metal by artist Helen Denerley. Twenty new jobs have been created and Trees for Life says the centre will “generate an ongoing economic boost for local suppliers and services.”
Dundreggan is part of Affric Highlands, the UK’s largest rewilding landscape which will potentially cover over 500,000 acres – restoring nature while strengthening land-based livelihoods and creating economic opportunities. Trees for Life launched the Affric Highlands initiative in 2021, in partnership with Rewilding Europe and an initial coalition of communities and landowners.