The European Nature Trust supports efforts to reinstate the beneficial role of grazing herbivores to the Scottish ecosystem. When wolves, bears and lynx once roamed the Scottish Highlands, ‘megafaunal’ herbivores like elk and the great aurochs were also present. These grazing animals, along with wild boar, would have physically disturbed the land, embedding seeds into the soil to diversify vegetation.
We support efforts to restore the function of grazing herbivores
The European Nature Trust has partnered with Alladale Wilderness Reserve to release herds of longhorn cattle, in partnership with the Scotland Rural Development Programme. Longhorn cattle mimic the role of lost megafaunal herbivores, with which the Highland ecosystem evolved. Herds have already helped to diversify the vegetation, boosting plant and wildlife numbers.
Alladale is also the site of a decade-long study exploring the effectiveness of wild boar as a conservation tool, in partnership with WildCRU and Oxford University. They have helped to diversify vegetation within experimental enclosures, having a sustained positive impact on bracken and forb species richness.
2 herds of longhorn cattle introduced to Alladale
11 enclosures of wild boar created as part of long-term study
Positive impact of wild boar on bracken dominance
John Muir, Naturalist & Environmental Philosopher
Play your role in the recovery of Scotland’s ecosystems:
By visiting Alladale Wilderness Reserve, you can engage with the movement to restore the Highland ecosystem. Watch red squirrels, ptarmigan and golden eagles; explore Alladale’s pioneering restoration efforts; and reconnect with true nature.