A SCOTTISH nature recovery project has hit a major funding milestone, smashing through the £1 million mark.

Highlands Rewilding, created and run by Greenpeace’s former director Dr Jeremy Leggett, has hit the target three weeks before the end of its crowdfunder.

Rewilding is a form of ecological restoration which focuses on returning eco-systems to the state they were in before human interference.

Leggett said: “We are delighted to be hitting such a key milestone in our fight against biodiversity collapse and climate meltdown.

“We aim to play a lead role in the great diversion of investment from ruin to restoration, through rewilding.

“Hitting the £1 million mark in our crowdfund shows that our model is working in offering tangible hope, not just for nature but also community prosperity.”

Highlands Rewilding operates on a frontier model which allows people to invest £50 to £200,000 to co-own land marked for rewilding. There is potential for at least a 5% return on their investment.

As well as the £1 million gained through the crowdfund, larger investors have contributed substantially, as Highlands Rewilding has acquired three estates for its nature recovery goals – including, most recently, the 1300-hectare Tayvallich Estate in Lochgilphead, Argyll.

The estate sold for £10.5m, and the Tayvallich Initiative said: “As a proactive community, -Tayvallich looks forward to ¬working with our new neighbour Highlands Rewilding to address our most ¬pressing issues, including affordable housing and facilitating options for younger people to live and work in the area.”

On the acquisition, Dr Leggett said: “Tayvallich is a new opportunity which has arisen since the start of our fundraising campaign.

“The success of our crowdfund and off-platform fundraise to date, has enabled us to sign a contract for the unique Tayvallich estate and expand our rewilding and decarbonisation work to three sites.

“Each site – Bunloit, Beldorney and Tayvallich – is unique in their own right, but together they are a powerhouse for Scottish nature recovery, and a beacon of hope for the global biodiversity treaty, recently agreed by 200-plus governments.”

The project currently boasts 622 citizen rewilders, 42% of which live locally in Scotland.

The aim is that this number will grow to 1000 before the end of the crowdfunding campaign.

With the looming threat of climate change, Highlands Rewilding hopes to become a world leader in development of “nature-based solutions” to combat the crises of climate meltdown, biodiversity collapse and social inequality.

The Inverness-shire based company is already renowned for its triumphs of the 2022 VIBES and Nature of Scotland awards but wants to do more.

With the funds it raises, Highlands Rewilding hopes to acquire more land in Argyllshire and in the long0term it hopes to offer corporate nature recovery retreats on its estates, create eco-buildings and zero-carbon energy affordable-housing, and further their research.

As with any investment, those interested in the Highlands Rewilding project are encouraged to make sure they fully understand the process and potential risks – with this being a high-risk investment, investors are unlikely to be protected if something goes wrong, meaning they should be prepared to lose the money invested.

The crowdfunding campaign ends on May 16 and can be found at http://www.highlandsrewilding.co.uk/crowdfund