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Cultural and spiritual:
Looking at beautiful views, visiting historic landscapes, walking in remote country, observing wild animals, all have a profound effect on our well-being. There is a healing effect, where people connect with the land and wildlife, and find a profound sense of identity.
Educational and social:
The experience of wild areas and of adventure activities are important aspects of education and leisure, especially for young people, bringing a sense of challenge and achievement.
Environmental services:
Wild areas, where drainage and grazing pressure is reduced, are effective at storing and releasing clean water and regulating flow downstream. Soils and vegetation are major stores of carbon.
Wild animals and plants provide food. Visitor income can be derived from ventures based on reintroduced species and outdoor leisure activities. Areas can be branded for their charismatic wildlife.

Many local projects and initiatives throughout Britain have taken on wild land values. As experience and enthusiasm for wild land grows, we recognise that there are more and more areas that have the capability to become wilder. The Wildland Network will explore the potential for these major new areas of wildland, supporting the efforts needed to bring them in to being.


Wildland needs:

  1. to be free (or be freed) of human interference and managed with minimal intervention, having regard to the feasibility of actively restoring past degradation;
  2. be free of economic exploitation such as grazing or forestry (but can support sensitive eco-tourist facilities at the boundary);
  3. to have natural processes restored on a sufficient scale as to be meaningful, which ideally includes wild herbivores and predators; and
  4. have a sense of remoteness and risk.



A major conference examining the return of wild animals once native to Scotland – including beaver, lynx, wild boar and wolf – was held at the Universal Hall, Findhorn near Inverness on 16 and 17 September 2008, hosted by award-winning conservation charity Trees for Life and the Wildland Network - see here for full details including write up, selected presentations and press reports. Articles from the conference are available here in the latest edition of ECOS.

Map of wild land in Scotland: An interactive map of wild land quality in Scotland is now available through the MapTube web site.