A 200 Year Vision
Protecting our most valuable asset.
Where once this land was teeming with life, today it cries out for help. Conservation is just a word; a word that barely encompasses the breadth of work necessary to restore these lands to their former richness, or the scale of our commitment to a more sustainable future.
Our big open spaces are disappearing at an alarming rate. The natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands has long been at risk. At WildLand, we believe in giving nature a chance to fight back.
WildLand’s philosophy, its overriding mission, is very simple: we wish to restore our parts of the Scottish Highlands to their former natural splendour. And not just the land, the whole fabric of these great estates. It is our 200 year vision. Today, we have taken but the first few steps towards making this vision a reality.
Whilst nature answered only to the changing seasons, so too did man coexist in natural balance. However, we also have to accept the harsh reality that people who once worked the land have moved away. Now though, WildLand’s fervent desire is to see local communities thrive once more and to have those that have left the Highlands come back; bringing with them all-new skills and all-new visions for the way that people can work and live here.
At WildLand we believe in nature’s own capacity to restore itself and appreciate that this is a project extending far beyond our own lifetimes.
The regeneration of this wilderness will demand timescales more likely to be enjoyed in our children’s lifetime than in ours, but we know that we can help create the conditions necessary to allow natural processes to gain a foothold.
It’s a simple fact that many estates across the Highlands have populations of deer far beyond that which the ecosystem can support. Deer browse young saplings before they have any chance to establish themselves. On land where our deer management is in hand, the regeneration of habitat and woodland has been nothing short of remarkable.
The heart soars when the rebirth of these lands sees wildlife return. Sounds of rivers rushing and a sight of summer swallows swooping all suggests a soul stirring with eager vitality.
Old Growth Forests
Working hard to maintain and develop the character and quality of Scotland’s landscapes.
Whilst, in truth, the great Caledonian Pine Forests have been eroded – by man – over the course of the last 1000 years, it is also the case that not much more than two hundred years ago, considerable parts of the Highlands were still covered with significant expanses of pine, alder, birch and juniper and a whole ecosystem of plants and wildlife that thrived in its shelter.
Our goal, today, is to protect and regenerate those few remaining pockets of magnificent old growth forest and create the conditions necessary for these trees to reassert themselves across the landscape. Since 2014 WildLand has planted five million tree saplings across its holdings within the Cairngorm region. This in addition to the many millions of natural seedlings regenerating Caledonian Pinewoods within the core 2000 ha area.
Alongside our stated commitment to the preservation of the land and the human infrastructure of the WildLand estates, we increasingly find ourselves the guardian of significant parts of Scotland’s history. We see preservation as protection, restoration and renewal; the past alive for present and future generations to enjoy.
Across WildLand’s northern estates are some of the most striking brochs on the Scottish mainland. These two-thousand-year old archaeological structures demand not just our protection but also our care and attention. There’s more recent history too. Eriboll Estate still bears the legacy of 18th century lime kilns built by one of the old Dukes of Sutherland, while Loch Eriboll was a scene of sadness a century later when a Highland Clearances ship drove into its sheltered waters to take people from the Sutherland Estates away from the land, never to return.