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Could Scotland become the world's first 'Rewilding Nation'?

TENT is a member of the Scottish Rewilding Alliance – a collective of organisations working to build support for Scotland to become the first ‘Rewilding Nation’. On 20th June, we’re hosting the London Premiere of a new documentary, Why Not Scotland? 100% of proceeds will be allocated to rewilding projects. This is your opportunity to join a movement, meet new connections in the rewilding world and beyond, and positively contribute to the recovery of nature.

More than 2% of Scotland’s land is now rewilding according to new figures from the Scottish Rewilding Alliance, as it launches a Rewilding Nation Charter calling for Scotland to declare itself the world’s first rewilding nation. A certain celebrity, Leonardo DiCaprio, described it on Instagram.

Despite growing praise for its rewilding progress, Scotland remains one of the most nature-depleted countries on Earth. The new Charter says rewilding offers hope for restoring habitats and saving wildlife, with major benefits for people, but much more needs to be done.

The Alliance is urging people from all walks of life to sign the Rewilding Nation Charter which calls on the Scottish Government to commit to nature recovery across 30% of land and sea.

The campaign includes a new feature-length film called Why Not Scotland?, which explores how rewilding could happen on a bigger scale in the country. TENT has co-funded the production, and will be hosting the London Premiere on 20th June at the Marylebone Theatre – with all proceeds allocated to rewilding projects through SCOTLAND: The Big Picture. Tickets include admission, food, alcoholic and soft drinks – your opportunity to connect with those in the rewilding movement and beyond, while directly supporting nature recovery.

Why rewilding? “Climate breakdown and nature loss mean we face an unprecedented threat to our way of life and our children’s future. But it’s not too late. Scotland can lead the way as a Rewilding Nation to benefit nature, climate and people,” said Steve Micklewright, Scottish Rewilding Alliance Convenor and Chief Executive of Trees for Life.

Scotland is ranked 212 out of 240 countries and territories for the state of its nature, and 11% of its species face extinction. Intensive agriculture and climate breakdown are having the biggest impacts on biodiversity, according to the authoritative State of Nature 2023 report, with other threats including non-native forestry, pollution, and introduced species.

This is undermining access to food, fresh water and clean air. It is hampering efforts to lock away carbon, and harming people’s health and wellbeing, says the Scottish Rewilding Alliance.

But growing numbers of communities, charities, farmers and landowners are taking action to turn Scotland’s nature crisis around – helping society cope with climate breakdown’s floods, wildlife die-offs, droughts and crop failures, while creating jobs and economic opportunities. See Alladale Wilderness Reserve, north of Inverness; Highlands Rewilding on the shores of Loch Ness; WildLand in the Northern Highlands; the Northwoods Rewilding Network; Trees for Life at Dundreggan; and the ambitious Cairngorms Connect project.

In the first-ever such figures released, the Scottish Rewilding Alliance calculates 2.1% of Scotland’s land is now rewilding, with more than 150 projects covering at least 160,000 hectares, from community woodlands to landscape-scale partnerships. This includes members of Rewilding Britain’s UK-wide Rewilding Network, and the Scotland-wide Northwoods Rewilding Network, led by SCOTLAND: The Big Picture.

Rewilding 30% of Scotland can be achieved by restoring wild habitats including peatlands, native woodlands, wetlands, rivers and seas, with no loss of productive farmland. Rewilding goes hand-in-hand with nature-led farming, fishing and forestry, the Alliance says.

Produced by SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, the Why Not Scotland? film explores the Scottish landscape through the eyes of Flo Blackbourn, a young Scot from Glasgow, who sets out on a personal journey to find inspiring examples of major nature recovery around Europe.

“My journey to see how rewilding can help nature and people thrive together was life-changing and such a source of hope. Like many young people, I’m worried about the uncertain future we all face with climate breakdown and nature loss – but life can bounce back if we give it a chance, and work with nature instead of against it,” said Flo (age 27).

Your chance to directly support rewilding

By attending the London premiere of Why Not Scotland? on 20th June, you can directly contribute to rewilding projects, with 100% of ticket sales allocated to SCOTLAND: The Big Picture. Enjoy a cinematic evening, meet new connections, and enjoy a Scottish-themed evening of food, drinks and entertainment.
book your tickets

The Why Not Scotland? London Premiere is hosted by TENT, in support of SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, raising awareness, support and funding for rewilding in Scotland.

The Scottish Rewilding Alliance is a collaboration between like-minded organisations who share a mission to enable rewilding at a scale new to Scotland.

The approach embraces working in partnership with landowners, communities, interest groups and government to achieve a shared agenda that shapes the landscape.

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