Alladale Wins Sustainable Development Award
Rewilding, hospitality, and renewable energy are at the heart of Alladale Wilderness Reserve, and its work around sustainability has now been recognised at the first ever virtual Scottish Green Energy Awards, where it received ‘The Sustainable Development Award’.
The Awards, powered by Scottish Renewables, celebrate the inspiring work being done by organisations, projects and people in the renewable energy industry. This particular award is in recognition of an outstanding renewable energy project with a positive impact on the environment, society and/or the economy. The vote for Alladale was unanimous, with all judges impressed by the breadth and depth of its sustainable development projects. David Duguid MP presented the award in a virtual ceremony on 26 November 2020, describing Alladale as a “standout nomination”.
7 EXAMPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AT ALLADALE
- Renewable Energy - a 90Kw micro hydro scheme provides enough electricity to meet Alladale’s needs (with excess for the grid)
- Hydro-powered Aquaponics Garden - This model for sustainable, ethical food production, launched in Summer 2020. It’s a vegetable and herb production system, powered by Alladale’s hydro scheme and will enable the production of healthy, fresh, organic, low-carbon food for guests with zero food miles. It has led to local employment and Alladale plans to share its learnings with other remote communities and businesses
- Habitat Management - Alladale is one the country’s largest and oldest rewilding projects, whose mission is to restore the Highland’s ecosystem and enable visitors to reconnect to nature in ways that create local employment opportunities
- Reforestation - Over the last decade 1 million trees have been replanted to help re-establish Scotland’s original forests. Red Squirrels have since been successfully reintroduced and a population of around 300 individuals live in the area
- Critically Endangered Wildcat Breeding - Working with the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, Alladale has successfully bred Critically Endangered Scottish Wildcats with three more kittens being born in 2020. With fewer than 400 individuals left in Scotland, this makes a significant contribution to the survival of one of the rarest feline species in the world.
- Peatland Restoration - Alladale has rewetting large tracts of dried peatlands to allow natural carbon storage habitats to return and the rivers to run free of peat sediment. Over 100 hectares have been restored so far
- Red Deer Management - reducing Red Deer numbers to the natural carrying capacity of the land meant that in 2018, Alladale ceased commercial stalking and successfully replace this revenue stream with nature-based tourism
- Local Learning and Employment Opportunities - Alladale is home to the Highland Outdoor Wilderness Learning programme (HOWL) and has welcomed local school pupils every summer since 2007, from schools within a 50-mile radius around the reserve
In addition to reducing its own environmental impact, Alladale aims to demonstrate how small-scale renewable energy schemes can be used as the foundation for building sustainable businesses and supporting employment in remote, rural areas.