Doug and his colleagues aren't leaving Dundreggan except for a few essential reasons, such as collecting prescriptions. Food is arriving at the rewilding estate via supermarket deliveries.
Doug added: “The local Redburn Cafe has started local takeaways, so they're an occasional treat! No one has visited us for weeks now, except for delivery drivers and the postie. We're here in isolation for the long-haul if needs be – together with a growing forest for the future.”
Trees for Life plans to open the world's first rewilding centre at Dundreggan in 2022. This is expected to welcome over 50,000 visitors annually – allowing people to explore the wild landscapes, discover Gaelic culture, and learn about the region's unique wildlife including golden eagles, pine martens and red squirrels.
As well as being an internationally important forest restoration site, Dundreggan is a biodiversity hotspot that is home to over 4,000 plant and animal species. Discoveries include several species never recorded in the UK before, or previously feared extinct in Scotland.
Trees for Life is dedicated to rewilding the Scottish Highlands. So far its volunteers have established nearly two million native trees at dozens of sites, encouraging wildlife to flourish and helping communities to thrive. See www.treesforlife.org.uk.