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DT:TV Case Studies

Developing Highlands Rewilding’s businesses

Tayvallich Estate, which holds exceptional natural capital value and biodiversity uplift potential.

Highlands Rewilding aims to become one of the most impactful accelerators of nature-based solutions in the world by 2026. Rewilding is a progressive approach to nature conservation that revitalises forest, peatlands and pastures, providing space for wildlife and flora to flourish and communities to thrive. It creates a landscape that boosts biodiversity, carbon sequestration and job creation for guardians of the expanding wildland, all at the same time.

Our vision for Highlands Rewilding sees a wild, rich mosaic of habitat, mostly native woodland, that is home for people and wildlife alike. Ground-breaking research will improve land use and conservation for generations to come and help make natural capital accountancy watertight, and hence nature based solutions easily investable. The carbon and biodiversity effects of rewilding are not fully understood and so we are developing cutting edge nature-based solutions research at our living science and data labs on our estates all of which have a different blend of natural assets.

I’ve been working with the company as a non-executive director for 18 months, and have been invited to join the team on an executive basis part-time, to help with developing a complex blend of different business models that make up rewilding. Some are short-term strategies, focused on generating immediate results, such as eco-tourism. Other longer-term strategies are focused on gradually building a sustainable business over time, such as creating voluntary carbon and biodiversity credits and developing other ecosystem services. While both strategies are important, as is often the case with startups, we need to put more emphasis and focus on the long-term growth strategies to attract investors to our model, whilst the short term strategies contribute to business success by proving that the team can operate.