Lochaber landowners unite behind nature restoration

The project aims to create 'a rich mosaic' of habitats over the next 50 years.

A new nature restoration project is set to make the western Highlands more biodiverse and climate resilience over the next 50 years.

Loch Abar Mòr is a new nature restoration partnership working to enable communities within the Lochaber region to thrive in an ecologically diverse and climate resilient landscape.

The partnership brings together a group of significant landholdings in the region, all committed to ecological recovery as a solution to climate breakdown and biodiversity loss, and as an enabler for new social and nature-based economic opportunities across Lochaber.

Over the next five decades, Loch Abar Mòr partnership seeks to create “a rich mosaic of habitats alive with nature, weaving across boundaries, in which people work and live with a sense of pride and belonging”.

Loch Abar Mòr’s founding partners are stewards of more than 80,000 acres of land in Lochaber, and include Corrour Estate, The Woodland Trust, Glenaladale Estate, National Trust for Scotland, Glen Nevis Estate and the Nevis Landscape Partnership. The initiative is led by nature restoration charity, SCOTLAND: The Big Picture.

Nature restoration project aims to create 'rich mosaic' of habitats

“We are delighted to be able to harness the appetite for landscape-scale nature restoration in Lochaber and in time, translate this into meaningful change on the ground,” said Peter Cairns, SCOTLAND: The Big Picture’s executive director and convenor of Loch Abar Mòr.

Donald Rowantree is estate manager at Corrour, a 57,000 acre landholding east of Fort William.

He said: “We’ve been working to restore natural habitats at a landscape-scale for some years, and this partnership offers the opportunity to expand that work across ownership boundaries.

“The sharing of knowledge and expertise will also allow our resources to go further and be more effective.”

The partnership has set out core objectives around nature connectivity and climate mitigation, but is also committed to working with communities to ensure that ecological recovery works in tandem with employment, learning and recreation opportunities.

Loch Abar Mòr launched officially on Thursday with a reception at The Highland Cinema in Fort William, for local land managers, businesses and community representatives.

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