Rewilding has become an investment

Kat Murphy, education manager with oak and hawthorne at the official breaking of ground to mark the beginning of the construction of the world’s first rewilding centre at Trees for Life’s 10,000-acre Dundreggan estate near Loch Ness.

The new Rewilding Centre at the Trees for Life Dundreggan estate in Glenmoriston will showcase the recovery of nature.

We know that many people across the country have a passion for protecting the UK’s native wildlife.

A new partnership between the charity Trees for Life and Triodos Bank aims to raise £2 million to part-fund the world’s first rewilding centre in the Scottish Highlands between Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye.

Triodos Bank, a part of Europe’s leading sustainable bank, is offering investors the opportunity to invest directly in a rewilding charity for the first time. Investors can take advantage of a bond offer on the Triodos Crowdfunding platform from as little as £50.

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.

Biodiversity

"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.”

The new Rewilding Centre at the Trees for Life Dundreggan estate in Glenmoriston will showcase the recovery of nature and allow visitors to explore wild landscapes, discover Gaelic culture and learn about the region’s unique wildlife all year round.

The £6 million attraction is expected to open to the public in spring 2023 and welcome over 70,000 visitors annually by 2030. The centre will also boost the rural economy through at least 15 new local jobs.

An all-weather visitor centre, café and events space will act as the gateway to fully accessible trails, child-friendly forest experiences and more adventurous walks, while an accessible accommodation space will allow for longer educational and volunteering stays.

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.

Coalition

"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. We’re really pleased to be helping Trees for Life in bringing about the world’s first rewilding centre.”

Today, only sparse patches of the original forest remain and much of its wildlife – including capercaillie, red squirrel, golden eagle and crested tit – have also suffered significant declines.

Trees for Life is dedicated to rewilding the Highlands and restoring the native Caledonian Forest that once covered much of Scotland. It plans to increase woodland cover at Dundreggan alone from 26 percent to 41 percent over the next 10 years.

We know that many people across the country have a passion for protecting the UK’s native wildlife.

The charity has also been instrumental in forming the Scottish Rewilding Alliance, a coalition of more than 20 environmental organisations calling for Scotland to become the world’s first ‘rewilding nation’,returning 30 percent of land and sea to nature by 2030.

Investments

The 9-year bond will pay investors six percent gross interest per year, with a minimum investment of £50. As with all investments, interest payments and return of capital are not guaranteed and like all ISAs, the IFISA is subject to eligibility criteria.

Not only will investors play a part in wildlife education and conservation in Scotland, but they will also be supporting the creation and expansion of native woodlands that will help tackle climate breakdown by soaking up carbon dioxide.

Working with over 5,000 volunteers, Trees for Life has established nearly two million trees across 44 tree planting sites over the last 25 years.

Recent achievements include a 50 percent increase in black grouse, golden eagles nesting for the first time in 40 years at Dundreggan and over 200 red squirrels reintroduced and flourishing at sites across the northwest Highlands.

Triodos Bank UK have devoted resources to developing investments in the restoration of nature since 2018 and this is the first project to come to fruition. 

Risks

The bank is also lead advisor on four national pilot projects for Nature Based Investment with the first nearing completion, and also expects to announce its own first direct loan to a rewilding project in the near future.

Investments offered on the Triodos crowdfunding platform are not readily realisable, which means that they may be difficult to sell, and you may not get back the full amount invested.

Investments are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) and your capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.

Repayment of capital and interest will be dependent on the success of the organisation's business model and past performance isn’t a reliable indicator of future performance. You should always read the offer document in full before deciding whether to invest as it will cover risks specific to an individual investment.

You can read more about the general risks associated with making these types of investments here. If you are unsure if any of these investments are right for you, you should contact an Independent Financial Adviser.

This Author

Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist. This article is based on a press release from Triodos Bank UK.

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