News

After dealing with various potential issues regarding bottlenecks for free roaming stock, the remaining wildland gates are finally opened allowing the pigs and cattle access to the entire 450 acre wildland area at their leisure.

Louise and Sophie Ramsay open the final gates

The world’s first hydrological model of beaver dams has been completed by Olly Van Biervliet at UCL in collaboration with the University of Stirling, based on studies of Bamff’s beaver wetlands.

The results, which will soon be published, are astounding, but perhaps to some extent slightly unsurprising, especially when looking at the landscape here which brims with an abundance of lifeforms at every level, even at a time of nationwide drought.

Details will be published on this site as soon as they are available.

A Bamff beaver performs some dam maintenance on an August morning.

Patrick Cook and Alan Law of Stirling University have begun new long term studies on Bamff Wildland that explore how rewilding here impacts biodiversity.

Patrick’s work focusses on invertebrates in areas where conservation grazing is occurring (through the presence of cattle, pigs and eventually ponies). Various insect traps have been installed and a series of moth trappings already revealed over 50 species in the wildland fields.

Meanwhile, Alan Law is exploring the range of various species of flora and fauna between ponds with and without beavers.

A Lempke’s Gold Spot moth, from one of Patrick Cook’s moth trappings, July 2022.

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After a long delay in receiving their mandatory ear-tags, the four very happy Tamworth pigs are finally released from the enclosure where they have been living – allowing them to roam around much of the wildland area – snouting and rootling the ground for future biodiversity gains.

Some parts of the wildland currently remain temporarily shut whilst certain problematic bottlenecks are dealt with.

Wildland Cattle Arrive

A herd of 20 free roaming cattle arrived at Bamff Wildland. Together with the tamworth pigs (and eventual forthcoming ponies) they will be free to roam around the Wildland area providing specific patterns of grazing and displacement that will benefit the proliferation of numerous plant species. The first breed to arrive are Aberdeen Angus Cross, but are to be replaced with Luing Cross cattle in a few months.

Aberdeen Angus Cross cattle in Lady’s Well field.

Ponds and wetland scrapes, major components of the planned crowdfunded interventions, have been created in multiple locations within the Wildland area. Their purpose is to dramatically accelerate the evolution of existing wetland areas, providing a massive boost for amphibians, insects and many other species of fauna and flora.

The first members of the Bamff Wildland livestock have arrived. Four female tamworth weaners, who will be initially kept in an enclosure for a number of weeks before being released into the whole wildland area, are essential for rootling and disturbing the ground in order to help to catalyse the spread of plant and animal species. They will be joined later in the year by cattle and ponies.

Four cattle grids are now installed along Bamff’s front and back drives. Funded by the Wildland crowdfunder, they form part of the Wildland boundary and are needed to prevent the forthcoming free roaming livestock from exiting the wildland area whilst also eliminating the hassle of opening and closing gates for all vehicles and pedestrians.

Bamff’s southern fields with prepared patches

In a number of fields within the Bamff Wildland zone, twenty patches were prepared for the sowing of yellow rattle seeds. These patches, each one tenth of one hectare, have now been rotovated with the seeds, so that they are ready to emerge next spring.

The purpose of this is to reduce the grassy dominance in what previously was improved pasture designated for livestock grazing. This in turn will make way for much greater diversity, including expansive wildflower meadows that will be sown during 2022.

This intervention was made possible by the Nature Scot Restoration Fund.

The patches after rotovated with yellow rattle seed
Osprey platform #1 by the Bamff Pond

Two osprey platforms and four barn owl nesting boxes have been installed at Bamff by Louis Pate,

These are joint funded by our crowdfunder and Northwoods, for which we are extremely grateful.

Osprey platform #2 on Hilton Hill

The Bamff Wildland crowdfunder exceeded both its initial and stretch targets reaching a total of £37,925, raised in under one month.

This means that all the components of the Wildland Project are due to go ahead, including the ambitious upgraded perimeter fence with cattle grids, interventions such as new ponds and scrapes, various forms of planting, the installation of various nesting boxes and the introduction of rare or extinct species.

Today we are very excited to launch our crowdfunder – we are asking for your support in our pioneering rewilding project which will turn 12 fields, 6 woods and our beautiful beaver territories into one contiguous area – over 450 acres – of self willed land. This is the first project of its kind in Scotland.

Rewilding addresses the biodiversity and climate crises in a way no other land use can. Yet there is no government support in Scotland for this holistic approach. We want to change that. Your support will help us to show what is possible. No contribution is too small. Please share widely! 

Visit the crowdfunder page here.

The official crowdfunder video.