The launch of a new bond means Scots can back a world-leading Highlands rewilding project
Ahead of COP26, which takes place in Scotland in November, sustainable financial institution Triodos Bank has created the world’s first investment bond for a rewilding charity. Working with conservation organisation Trees for Life, the aim is to raise £2 million to part-fund the world’s first rewilding centre in the Scottish Highlands. The bonds are available on the Triodos Crowdfunding platform, with a starting price of £50.
The new Rewilding Centre at the Trees for Life Dundreggan estate in Glenmoriston will showcase the recovery of nature. Steve Micklewright, chief executive of Trees for Life, said: “The new Triodos bond offer is a unique opportunity to invest in an exciting, positive, and much-needed initiative. Funds raised will ensure we can establish Dundreggan Rewilding Centre as a beacon of hope for the restoration of nature on a large scale across Scotland, tackling climate breakdown, creating green jobs and volunteering opportunities, and reconnecting people with nature.”
Situated between the Isle of Skye and Loch Ness, the new Rewilding Centre will allow visitors to explore wild landscapes, and learn about the region’s unique wildlife. The £6 million attraction plans to open in spring 2023 and welcome over 70,000 visitors. Additionally, the centre will create 15 new local jobs.
Diana Gerry, corporate finance manager at Triodos Bank UK, said: “We know that many people across the country have a passion for protecting the UK’s native wildlife and are interested in seeing how rewilding can play a part in tackling the climate emergency and biodiversity loss. With a £50 minimum investment, this bond offer is accessible to a wide range of investors and supporters, giving them the opportunity to align their money with a love for nature, make returns and support an innovative and inspiring charity.”
Working for the Rewilderness
Trees for Life wants to restore the native Caledonian Forest that once covered much of Scotland. Today, only sparse patches remain and much of its wildlife – including capercaillie, red squirrel, and golden eagle – have also severely declined. The charity has already established nearly two million trees across 44 tree planting sites over the last 25 years. However, the ultimate goal is to increase woodland cover at Dundreggan from 26% to 41% over the next 10 years.
Recent achievements include a 50% increase in black grouse, golden eagles nesting for the first time in 40 years at Dundreggan, and over 200 red squirrels reintroduced at sites across the northwest Highlands. The charity has also been instrumental in forming the Scottish Rewilding Alliance. This coalition of more than 20 environmental organisations wants Scotland to become the world’s first ‘rewilding nation’, returning 30% of land and sea to nature by 2030.