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Rewilding Nation campaign backed by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio seeks to raise £200,000 in one week

Rewilding Nation campaign backed by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio seeks to raise £200,000 in one week

A UK-wide campaign calling for Scotland to become the first Rewilding Nation, backed last week by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, is launching an ambitious fundraising drive to raise £200,000 in just one week.

The Scottish Rewilding Alliance, a coalition of more than 20 organisations, is calling on the Scottish Government to commit to nature recovery across 30% of the country to benefit nature, climate and people.

In a message of support posted to his 62 million followers on Instagram last week, which has now been liked by almost 100,000 people, Leonardo DiCaprio said: “With this campaign, Scotland could be a world leader in rewilding its landscapes, ensuring clean air and water, storing carbon, reducing flooding, restoring wildlife, and improving the lives of locals.”

Rewilding Britain aims to raise £200,000 for the Rewilding Nation campaign as part of this year’s Big Give Green Match Fund, which runs from 18-25 April. All donations will be matched by Big Give.

“We’re urging people from all walks of life to support the Rewilding Nation campaign. This is about creating a groundswell of hope for a greener, fairer Scotland in which communities and nature thrive together,” said Kevin Cumming, Rewilding Britain’s Rewilding Director and steering group member of the Scottish Rewilding Alliance.

“Rewilding is about tackling the nature and climate emergencies, while offering a cascade of benefits for people – including better health, new jobs, food security, and healthy rivers and seas.”

Funds raised during the Big Give week will support outreach to the Scottish Government, politicians, and communities, including through an extensive series of events this summer, a new community rewilding guide, and by making the campaign widely accessible in Gaelic.

The Scottish Rewilding Alliance plans dynamic and creative approaches to showcase how rewilding offers hope for tackling biodiversity loss and climate breakdown, while offering major social and economic benefits.

There will be initiatives involving young people, many of whom say they are extremely worried about the uncertain future posed by the climate and nature crises.

Alliance member Trees for Life has extended an open invitation to Leonardo DiCaprio to visit the charity’s Dundreggan Rewilding Centre near Loch Ness in the Highlands. The centre celebrates rewilding and Gaelic culture, and offers a gateway for visitors to explore Trees for Life’s Dundreggan estate, part of Affric Highlands, the UK’s biggest rewilding landscape.

Scotland is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. Intensive agriculture and climate breakdown are having the biggest impacts on habitats and wildlife, with other threats including non-native forestry, pollution, and introduced species, research shows.

Rewilding 30% of Scotland can be achieved by restoring habitats including peatlands, native woodlands, wetlands, rivers and seas, with no loss of productive farmland, says the Alliance.

A Rewilding Nation Charter, which calls on the Scottish Government to declare Scotland a rewilding nation, has already been signed by thousands of people.

For more information and to donate, visit https://bit.ly/BigGiveRewildingNation.


Main image credit: A young grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) exploring a seaweed garden in summer (June). Cairns of Coll, Island of Coll, Inner Hebrides, Scotland. North East Atlantic Ocean. © Alexander Mustard; 2020 VISION _ scotlandbigpicture.com