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Achieving The Impossible Dream

Young people at the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, one of the largest rewilding projects in Scotland.

Rewilding at the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve.

The community of Langholm in southern Scotland fundraised £millions to buy 5,000 acres of land for the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve. Learn about how they created one of the largest rewilding projects in the UK.

In this episode, hosts Ric and Amanda are reunited, having last met when Ric arrived at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, on the first day of COP26, having (literally) just completed a gruelling 500-mile, 26-day walk from London.

During that journey, Ric met so many people who are putting ambition into action to address the climate crisis at a community level, including our podcast guests today, Jenny Barlow and Mairi Telford Jammeh, of the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve in Langholm, Scotland.

We hear about the incredible passion this small community has for protecting wildlife and restoring the area to its natural state. About how an unexpected opportunity to purchase a large swathe of land for the nature reserve sparked a fundraising mission that ignited people not only across Scotland, but globally as well. We hear about some of the characters and relationships that made it possible to raise the £millions needed – and about the plans to raise more and continue to grow one of the largest rewilding projects in the UK.

Listen now, to discover the power that people can have when they come together with a shared goal, but also, importantly when they collaborate with partner organisations and experts to achieve their dreams.

Excerpt from this episode:

There needs to be a long-term vision for the recovery of the landscape. We’re starting to look at where trees need to be planted, or where can we naturally encourage trees to grow. We’ve already got moorland and we’ve got a lot of trees already regenerating because the grazing pressure is being reduced. It is literally phenomenal to see nature starting to re-establish itself. You can look right up the valley, which is all now in community ownership, and you can see all these little saplings gradually working their way back up the hills from the ancient woodland in the bottom of the valley. It’s just very special to see it.

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