Glenlude

A rewilding hub for volunteer and community engagement in a small corner of the Scottish Borders
John Muir Trust

At a glance

Location

Scottish Borders

Area

368 acres

Start date

2003

Scale

Medium

Habitats

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

Key species

Roe deer, Pine marten, Black grouse, Red squirrel, Barn owl, Buzzard and Northern Brown Argus

Rewilding actions

Tree Planting and Natural regeneration

Engaging people

Education programme

Glenlude has fast become an important hub for rewilding volunteering and engagement. The John Muir Trust is within its 20-year plan to rewild this former sheep farm and conifer plantation, working to create a mosaic of native habitats across the property.

The project aims to be inclusive, with rewilding work being undertaken by Trust members, local volunteers, schools and groups such as drug rehabilitation charity, Phoenix Futures and Edinburgh based youth engagement charity The Green Team. Volunteers have built all the infrastructure at Glenlude. This includes the tree nursery with poly tunnel, a hub for volunteers, composting toilet, firewood store and a wild camping area.

Glenlude is an important hub for rewilding, to enable learning about nature and enjoying the benefits that rewilding can offer, such as fresh air, exercise and a better state of mind.

Many volunteers are dedicated regulars, but for others this is their first experience of taking part in outdoor activity and getting closer to nature. Their legacy will be a flourishing woodland and increased biodiversity in the decades to come.

KICK-STARTING REWILDING

Tree planting was required for the site as a native seed source was lacking in the area. Seed gathering is undertaken by volunteers, and then grown on site in the nursery - a great way to educate and engage people in habitat restoration.

Sheep were removed from the hill and the existing coniferous plantations are being restructured and gradually felled to allow for planting of native broadleaved woodlands. The aim being to kick-start natural processes and allow nature to take the lead.

Images: John Muir Trust

Gallery

John Muir Trust
John Muir Trust

Future Plans

  1. 1 Continue to replace conifer plantation with native broadleaf trees.
  2. 2 Continue to plant and expand native woodland on some areas of open grassland
  3. 3 Expand the education programme on site to encourage knowledge share of rewilding approaches and key skills.

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