8-11 November, 2021
Cessnock Quay, Glasgow

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Walking the Talk in the Decade of Action (2021-2030)

COP26 Forest of Hope

Climate Action is partnering with Highlands Rewilding, a new nature-recovery company, to create a carbon-negative biodiversity-positive COP26 Forest of Hope on the Beldorney Estate across the border between Aberdeenshire and Moray, Scotland.  The Forest of Hope will create a legacy from the Glasgow Climate Summit in 2021. 

Climate Action believes nature is the most important partner to work with in tackling the climate emergency. That’s why it is our mission to support Nature-based Solutions (NBS), such as rewilding, both in the UK and internationally. From the greening of gardens, parks and cities right through to the large-scale rewilding of landscapes, a growing number of people, businesses and institutions are now realising that ecosystem restoration and regeneration is vital to the long-term health of our planet.

Our ambition is to create a Forest of Hope for all future COP meetings.

Story of the first forest

Jeremy Leggett, social entrepreneur bought the 860-acre Beldorney Estate in May 2021, aiming to begin scaling his Bunloit Rewilding Project there using a mass-ownership company, Highlands Rewilding Ltd. Nick Henry, Founder and CEO of Climate Action and organiser of the COP26 Climate Action Innovation Zone, heard of the acquisition and suggested the COP26 Forest of Hope idea to Leggett, who jumped at it. Hearing of the project, several neighbouring landowners asked if they could join in, and local-community organisation The Cabrach Trust undertook to explore a regional, landscape-scale, riparian planting project in the Upper Deveron Valley, wherein the Beldorney land sits. The Cabrach Trust will also begin planting on their own land in this reputed river corridor, starting in November 2021, as a central feature of their brand-new wellbeing trails initiative.

Equity investments are flowing into Highlands Rewilding from founding funders and are already sufficient to breathe life into the project as soon as planting permissions can be obtained from Scottish Forestry. The ultimate aim is to plant a quarter of a million mixed-species native broadleaf trees on Beldorney land alone.

On Beldorney, a kilometre of pristine native woodland along the River Deveron shows what the Forest of Hope will look like, once planted and regenerated woodland on the adjoining and much more extensive over-grazed grasslands matures. In other words, those planting the first Forest of Hope will be able to begin their work with the end clearly in mind and sight.

Forest of Hope

Forest of Hope