WREN - Wester Ross Environment Network

‘Rewilding the Highlands’ on Tuesday 22nd March at 7.30 pm, Skye

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Alan Watson Featherstone, the founder of Trees for Life, will give a talk on ‘Rewilding the Highlands’ on Tuesday 22nd March at 7.30 pm, in Sabhal Mor Ostaig’s Seòmar Cruinneachaidh (old campus), Sleat, Isle of Skye*. The talk will explore the social, ecological and developmental benefits of rewilding, including the return of ‘keystone species’ to degraded habitats.

‘Rewilding’ means the process of returning ecosystems to a state of ecological health and dynamic balance, making them self-sustaining, without the need for ongoing human management. All over the world, many ecosystems appear healthy on the surface, but are not. Scotland is no exception. Long-term deforestation and overgrazing by deer and sheep have damaged the land. There is wildlife, but the numbers are very out of balance and many species are missing altogether.

Re-instating an entire ecosystem begins with the restoration of healthy vegetation communities. In Scotland recent efforts to restore and expand native forests by reducing grazing are allowing a new generation of trees and healthy woodland understory to establish. Further ecosystem recovery then takes place spontaneously, as insects, birds and small mammals are attracted, which in turn support raptors and terrestrial predators, such as pine martens, foxes and wildcats.

Alan will talk about how Trees for Life and hundreds of volunteers have been working since 1986 (when Trees for Life was founded) to return parts of the Caledonian Forest in Glen Affric and Glen Morriston to ecological health through the process of rewilding. The reinstatement of missing species is seen as critical, from wood ants to apex predators such as the Eurasian lynx and wolf, which play a crucial top-down regulatory role in ecosystems.

Alan’s thirty years of practical experience of bringing degraded ecosystems back into ecological health, and his superb wildlife photographs, will make this a very special talk.

We hope you will be able to join us, and look forward to welcoming you to an informative and thought-provoking evening.

Entry by donation, refreshments will be available.

Sleat Community Trust Environment Group.

Peter Roberts, Chair of SCT EG, 01471 844215
Sleat Community Trust 01471 844773

WREN would like to thank the following organisations for their support:
Scottish Natural Heritage
The European Agriculture fund for Rural Development. Europe investing in rural areas
The Highland Council
The Scottish Government

Tom Forrest (Chairman) chair@wr-en.co.uk

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