Rewilding in Scotland Understanding it.

Rewilding is not just about the reintroduction of large carnivores such as Wolf and Lynx, its about the restoration of ecosystems and this has been happening for some considerable years now, right under our noses with the reintroduction of White-Tailed Eagle, Red Kites and Beaver. But as the rewilding movement gathers momentum other exciting projects are emerging so if you have an interest in rewilding, and seeing some of Scotland’s most spectacular wildlife this trip with Speyside Wildlife is for you.

If you watched BBC Winterwatch this year, you will have heard Chris Packham’s excitement and enthusiasm for the new project, Cairngorms Connect, with a vision of 200 years to restore huge areas of Scotland’s forest!

The Cairngorm Mountains a location for Rewilding
Cairngorm Mountains (Kate Mennie)

Did you see the spectacular landscape and wildlife in this area?

If you got excited, interested or intrigued by this then this holiday is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rewilding of Scotland and brush shoulders with some of those who have been at the heart of rewilding Scotland for many years.

Joining us during our week’s holiday to talk to us about their adventures, work and passion are:

  • Roy Dennis MBE, awarded this honour for his contribution to wildlife conservation. Roy has been responsible for the reintroduction of White-tailed Eagles, Red Kites and Ospreys to England. Roy’s energy and passion for his subject is infectious, he is an expert on raptor conservation both in the UK and abroad.
  • Dr David Hetherington is an ecologist and authority on lynx and their reintroduction to areas in Europe and the possibility of their reintroduction to the UK. He is author of ‘The Lynx and Us’ and has a passion for habitat restoration in the Scottish Highlands.
  • Pete Cairns is a renowned photographer and is one of the Directors of Scotland: The Big Picture whose vision is – “The establishment of an interconnected network of rewilded land and sea across large parts of Scotland in which wildlife and people flourish.”

Pete will get our week off to a great start with some spectacular images in a presentation that tells us about Scotland’s landscape and future hopes for both it and its inhabitants.

Ospreys managed to hang on in Scotland until 1916, the year ospreys were considered extinct in Britain. Now back and breeding in Britain since 1954 in Speyside, hoe to our rewildling holiday.
Osprey (James Stevens)
Soaring White-tailed Sea Eagle after being succesfully re-introducded as part of rewildling.
White-tailed Eagle in flight

So this is just the start! We shall also be visiting RSPB Abernethy, flagship reserve and part of the Cairngorms Connect project. Here we shall meet those involved in caring for this magnificent remnant of Caledonian Pine Forest and its wildlife. We shall walk into and through some amazing and pristine areas of forest, looking out for Crested Tit, Crossbill and Red Squirrel. Always of course keeping our eyes skywards in case we have an eagle fly over.

Scottish Wildcat breeding programme
Captive Wildcat (JH)

We shall be visiting Aigas Field Centre to hear about the Scottish Wildcat project and hopefully catch sight of the captive Wildcats who are part of the breeding programme based here and at other sites around Scotland. We will visit a Trees for Life project to hear about restoration of spectacular Birch woodland and go looking for one of Britain’s newest mammal residents, the Beavers who have taken up residence in beautiful Lowes of the Lowes.

Swimming Beaver in Scotland a success of rewilding
Swimming Beaver (Duncan Macdonald)

A visit to the west coast to look out for White-tailed Eagles is going to be another highlight of this trip, so the holiday whilst focusing on rewilding will also be celebrating Scottish wildlife and eagles will most certainly be one of our main targets.

Throughout our week we hope that you will be stimulated by the issues around rewilding and enjoy Scottish wildlife in summer, leaving your holiday feeling inspired, exhilarated and refreshed! If you want to join us in July and August 2019, then you can read all about this holiday and book online.