A NETWORK of Scottish landholdings committed to rewilding has recorded dramatic ecological and economic impacts in its first two years.

The Northwoods Rewilding Network, which has grown to 55 partners spanning the length and breadth of the country, has reported its first set of outcomes since it was established in April 2021 by rewilding charity SCOTLAND: The Big Picture.

More than 108,000 native trees have been planted on partners’ landholdings, with more than 4,100 along rivers, where they are particularly impactful, providing shade, shelter and nutrients to a food web that includes Scotland’s iconic Atlantic salmon.

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A total of 69 new ponds and ‘scrapes’ – shallow, seasonal pools – have been created, providing 15,000 m2 of wetland habitat, while the removal of field drains has created more than 8,000 m2 of additional seasonally flooded habitat.

James Nairne, Northwoods project lead at SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, said: “We believe that working with a diverse range of land managers to create nature networks across Scotland is the most effective way of tackling biodiversity loss and climate breakdown.”

New hedgerows have been planted by more than a third of the network’s partners, amounting to nine kilometres, while the same length of redundant fencing has been removed – helping to open up wildlife highways.

A total of 17 partners have created or restored grassland habitat, covering a total of 276 hectares, and a similar number are employing natural grazing using 128 semi-wild cattle.

Forestry Journal:

The ecological interventions have brought substantial economic benefits. More than £1 million has been spent with local suppliers and services since the launch of Northwoods, which stretches from the Solway Firth to Sutherland, and from the East Neuk of Fife to the Ross of Mull. The network presently supports 71 full-time-equivalent jobs for people employed in nature-related enterprises.

For more information, visit scotlandbigpicture.com/northwoods.