Rewilding means enabling nature's recovery, whilst reflecting and respecting Scotland's society and heritage, to achieve more resilient and autonomous ecosystems.
Rewilding actions can vary in size and effort and have the potential to provide alternative income to farmers and land managers including ecotourism or carbon credits.
Rewilding actions include things like:
- The physical reintroduction of keystone species
- The creation of habitats on farm to create wildlife corridors
- Allowing the natural regeneration of woodlands
- Reversing the historic manipulation of rivers with re-meandering or fish barrier removal.
The Farm Advisory Service will be releasing information on the different types of rewilding, how farmers across Scotland are currently interacting with them, and where to find out more information if you want to get involved or have concerns.
Rewilding is part of a set of terms and approaches to landscape and nature management; it differs from other approaches in seeking to enable natural processes which eventually require relatively little management by humans.
As with all landscape management, rewilding should be achieved by processes that engage and ideally benefit local communities, in line with Scotland's Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement, to support a Just Transition.
You can read more about how ScotGov came to their definition of rewilding here.
Rewilding Beavers In Scotland
The Eurasian Beaver (Castor fiber) is a large semi-aquatic rodent that has been reintroduced to Scotland after being hunted to extinction here in the 16th century. Fossil and archaeological evidence suggests that they were previously widespread throughout mainland Scotland. Reintroductions have also taken place in many other European countries and the species has now recovered much of its original range following near total extinction at the start of the 20th century.
As Scotland’s beaver population continues to expand, appropriate management and mitigation will be required and these will be guided by Scotland’s Beaver Strategy. It is important to find ways of accommodating beavers and mitigating any negative impacts that they might have on land management. The strategy outlines a beaver management process that land managers should follow:
The playlist below will help you better understand how farmers and land managers can co-exist with beavers in Scotland.
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