Bunloit Estate

Rewilding the Scottish Highlands for biodiversity, carbon capture and local communities 

Entrance to Bunloit

At a glance

Location

Scottish Highlands

Area

1,262 acres

Start date

2021

Scale

Medium

Habitats

Upland, Pinewood, Mixed woodland, Wetlands (including peatlands and marsh) and Grassland and meadow

Key species

Roe deer, Pine marten, Red squirrel, Boar and Juniper

Rewilding actions

Extensive grazing, Habitat restoration, Tree Planting and Natural regeneration

Engaging people

Volunteering, Tourism and Education programme

Bunloit is an estate typical of the Scottish Highlands – habitats include extensive peatland, Sitka spruce plantations, woodland and grazed grassland habitats. The estate is currently developing its ambitious new plans to rewild the landscape and restore natural processes. The aim is to not only restore biodiversity, but also to help rebuild the local economy and tackle climate change. 

Carbon monitoring is a key part of the estate’s plans, and carbon off-setting payments to fund rewilding is being explored. The estate is also looking to connect with other rewilding projects in the area through the East-West Wild landscape corridor to deliver bigger, better and joined up landscapes. 

NATURE BASED ENTERPRISE 

One of the overarching ambitions for the estate is to create new trades and employment opportunities for local communities. As part of the nature based enterprise strategy, the estate plans to create climate-friendly eco-homes. These will be built using some of the wood harvested from the estate itself. These will be built and sold to private buyers. In addition, the plans for the estate include creating nature based tourism opportunities. 

KICK-STARTING REWILDING

The project strategy is still in development and consultation with local communities is on-going. The strategy is likely to involve the removal of dense Sitka spruce plantations to restore native woodlands through natural regeneration and supplementary tree planting. The sheep will be removed from the estate to be replaced with mixed herbivores, including cattle and ponies. 

Images: Bunloit Estate 

GALLERY

Pastures South View
Bogland 3
Scots Pine woodland
Pastures North View
Juniper Ridge
Bogland 1
Bogland 1 and plantations
Birch Woodland

Find out more

Future Plans

  1. 1 Finalise and implement the rewilding strategy
  2. 2 Monitor biodiversity change across the site, as well as carbon capture

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