Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Ross and Cromarty

#8 of 8 in Wildlife in Ross and Cromarty
Alladale Wilderness Reserve is a privately owned estate in the Caledonian Forest in north Scotland. It is being managed so as to restore it to its natural state by increasing the tree cover of the valley, reintroducing native animals which are no longer found in Britain and encouraging biodiversity. Alladale Wilderness Reserve is currently the United Kingdom's largest wilderness engineering and rewilding area.
7,000 years ago, Britain was heavily forested. It would have been populated with wolves, bears, lynx, elk and a myriad of other large animals. But humans began to cut down a lot of the native forest, to make room for farmland. Almost all the large mammals had been forced into extinction by various means. Wolves were the last to go, becoming extinct in Scotland and Ireland in the 17th and 18th centuries respectively. Britain 7,000 years ago probably would have looked more like the untamed wilderness of Alaska, than the criss-cross of farmland seen today. The remotest highlands of Scotland prove to be the best candidates for rewilding in Britain.
The Alladale estate was bought by English multimillionaire Paul Lister in 2003. The idea of a wilderness reserve was inspired by visits to South Africa's ever popular game reserves. The idea was to create an area of outstanding natural beauty, where animals previously extinct in Britain could be reintroduced. Letting nature return itself to an early Holocene setting by bringing in the right animals. This idea has been proven in South Africa, when over-grazed down graded farmland, was returned to its natural setting.
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Alladale Wilderness Reserve Reviews
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  • Beverly and I sadly left Alladale on Thursday. Our short 4 day stay was an experience of a lifetime. From meeting both Tom and Steve at the lodge to welcome us, to hooking up with Ryan and Innes who t...  more »
  • We were three couples with a young baby and had an unforgettable stay at Eagles Crag cottage in the Reserve. The cottage was very comfortable and well equipped and is set in the most amazing location ...  more »
  • Wonderful, people, food and scenery is second to none. Will definitely return
  • Welcome, accommodation, wilderness location, conservation aims and ranger guided activities, all simply outstanding in every way.
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