Triodos Bank partners with Trees for Life to raise £2m to support rewilding in the Scottish Highlands

Rewilding charity Trees for Life and Triodos Bank UK have teamed up to raise £2m to part-fund the world’s first rewilding centre in the Scottish Highlands.

For the first time, Triodos Bank UK is offering investors the opportunity to invest directly in a rewilding charity, through a bond offer on the Triodos crowdfunding platform, from as little as £50.

The nine-year bond will pay investors 6% gross interest per year and is available within the tax-efficient IFISA wrapper.

Not only will investors play a part in wildlife education and conservation in Scotland, but they will also be supporting the creation and expansion of native woodlands that will help tackle climate change.

Trees for Life is dedicated to rewilding the Highlands and restoring the native Caledonian Forest that once covered much of Scotland. 

Today, only sparse patches of the original forest remain and much of its wildlife — including capercaillie, red squirrel, golden eagle, and crested tit — have also suffered significant declines. 

The joint initiative is set to showcase action on the nature and climate emergencies, create green jobs, and provide people with inspiring experiences.

The new Rewilding Centre at the Trees for Life Dundreggan estate in Glenmoriston will allow visitors to explore wild landscapes, discover Gaelic culture, and learn about the region’s unique wildlife all year round. 

The £6m attraction is expected to open to the public in spring 2023 and welcome over 70,000 visitors annually by 2030.

“The new Triodos bond offer is a unique opportunity to invest in an exciting, positive and much needed initiative,” said Steve Micklewright, chief executive at Trees for Life. 

“Funds raised will ensure we can establish Dundreggan Rewilding Centre as a beacon of hope for the restoration of nature on a large scale across Scotland, tackling climate breakdown, creating green jobs and volunteering opportunities, and reconnecting people with nature.”

The centre will also boost the rural economy through at least 15 new local jobs, and an all-weather visitor centre, café and events space will offer fully accessible trails, child-friendly forest experiences, and more adventurous walks, in addition to accessible accommodation space for longer educational and volunteering stays.

Diana Gerry, corporate finance manager at Triodos Bank UK, added: “We know that many people across the country have a passion for protecting the UK’s native wildlife and are interested in seeing how rewilding can play a part in tackling the climate emergency and biodiversity loss. 

“With a £50 minimum investment, this bond offer is accessible to a wide range of investors and supporters, giving them the opportunity to align their money with a love for nature, make returns, and support an innovative and inspiring charity.”

Working with over 5,000 volunteers, Trees for Life has established nearly two million trees across 44 tree planting sites over the last 25 years. 

Triodos Bank UK has devoted resources to developing investments in the restoration of nature since 2018 and this is the first project to come to fruition.  

The bank is also lead adviser on four national pilot projects for Nature Based Investment with the first nearing completion, and also expects to announce its own first direct loan to a rewilding project in the near future.

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