The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition)
Call for Scotland to be rewilding nation
Alliance tells politicians the issue has broad support among the public
Scotland should be the world’s first “rewilding nation”, according to environmental campaigners.
They are calling on the country’s politicians to back the idea of restoring wild areas to urban settings and reintroducing lost species to the land.
The Scottish Rewilding Alliance says the parties can help achieve this by committing to key policies and they believe the principle is a vote-winner.
The Alliance points to a poll carried out last year which showed more than threequarters (76%) of Scots backed rewilding, which has already had success in single issue initiatives such as the reintroduction of beavers. Earlier this year Perth became the first UK city to see resident urban beavers for hundreds of years, with the mammals establishing a “strong presence” on the River Tay.
Amid a drive to boost Scotland’s green credentials and increase rural employment, rewilding is seen by many conservationists as an ideal method of increasing biodiversity, creating self-sustainable environments and mitigating climate change.
Steve Micklewright, convener of the Scottish Rewilding Alliance, said: “We know the public wants to see politicians make real progress on rewilding, and we would encourage people to take these issues into account when they’re looking at the parties’ manifestos.”
Politicians are being urged to seize the social and economic benefits that would come with making Scotland the world’s first “rewilding nation”.
The Scottish Rewilding Alliance is calling on political parties to commit to key policies that it says will help achieve this.
More than three-quarters (76%) of Scots backed the principle of rewilding, a poll last year for the Alliance found.
Now it wants parties to sign up to policies such as a commitment to rewilding 30% of public land and setting up a special fund to support rewilding in towns and cities.
Political leaders are also being urged to support the reintroduction of key species to Scotland, including beavers, as well as consider a pilot project to reintroduce the Eurasion lynx to Scotland, where there is both a suitable habitat and local support.
The Alliance, which is campaigning for Scotland to declare itself the first rewilding nation, insists that bold measures are needed to help tackle the nature and climate crises.
The organisation believes policies it is proposing – which include an inshore recovery zone in Scotland’s waters where dredging and trawling are prohibited – could protect biodiversity and boost employment.
Steve Micklewright, convener of the Scottish Rewilding Alliance, said: “We know the public wants to see politicians make real progress on rewilding.”