LONDON / AGILITYPR.NEWS / September 14, 2020 /
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Join Controversial Conservationist Paul Lister for a Live Discussion on the Future of Europe
[London, United Kingdom] – Monday, 14th of September 2020.
Scotland was once covered in thick forest, it was an undulating wilderness teeming with wild lynx, wolves, and bears. Hunted and persecuted, these natural predators entered extinction hundreds of years ago. It was humans who destroyed the wild landscape by clearing land for farming, and felling trees for timber that stripped the hills bare. The Caledonian forest in the Scottish Highlands is one of the UK’s most endangered habitats today, where we are left only with 16,000 hectares of small disconnected fragments of land in its natural habitat state. A mere 1% of the original 1.5 million hectares stand the test of time.
There is one man who has dedicated his life to finding a solution to preserve the UK’s equivalent of a natural rainforest and the last remaining forests of the Scottish Highlands. Paul Lister, a respected and somewhat controversial conservationist took it upon himself to protect the forests in the Highlands. Lister is on a personal mission to replant the indigenous Caledonian forest and reintroduce extinct species like the wolf to the Scottish Highlands.
Lister is the custodian of Alladale Wilderness Reserve, home to Europe’s most eco-friendly hotel, awarded by the Boutique Hotels Award in November 2019 for their outstanding conservation work and restoration of wildlife in the Scottish Highlands. Alladale is located deep in the heart of the Scottish Highlands, set against the rugged hills of Glen Alladale, a 1-hour drive from Inverness where these ancient glacial valleys formed this wilderness, and where the country’s most northerly ancient Caledonian pine forest is growing.
Lister has achieved unprecedented success as a conservationist with more than 20 years dedicated to restoring natural habitats and saving wildlife across the UK and Europe. Amongst the many projects he led, was planting more around one million saplings, restoring peatlands, educating thousands of local school children and reintroducing red squirrels at Alladale Wilderness Reserve.
Driven by a deep appreciation for nature, Lister established The European Nature Trust back in 2002. The trust is a Nonprofit Organisation that raises funds for leading conservation organisations, as well as finance and co-produce natural history and documentary films across Europe with the intention to connect people back to nature.
Alladale Wilderness Reserve is very much at the forefront of conservation and eco-tourism in the UK, where this part of the Scottish Highlands has been truly rewilding. It's down to the work of the incredible reserve team who have enhanced its wilder side back to its former glory, by replanting lush forest and reintroducing original Highland plants and animal species over the sprawling 23,000-acre (90 sq.km) protected reserve.
In an open letter titled “Nature’s Red Card” to the public, Paul states that recent decades have seen the environmental destruction being fueled by our seemingly insatiable appetite for non-essential goods and services, propelled by massive advertising and marketing campaigns. He urges the world to seriously challenge the capital growth model and realise the consequences of such behaviour.
Lister also states that the current bleak, sanitised, industrial-style mega-farms are the stark example of the sprawl of over-farmed and over-grazed lands throughout Europe, in what used to be once living landscapes, full of forests, wetlands, and grasslands, teeming with wildlife. This is not exclusive to Europe; wildlands, from North America and Africa to Brazil and Indonesia, have been logged and burnt to make way for extensive agricultural development. Over one quarter of the world’s entire landmass (excluding ice caps and deserts) has been cleared for livestock farming and associated feed crops.
In the UK alone more than half of the land area is farmland, with just over a third that might be termed natural or semi-natural (moors, heathland, natural grassland etc). These statistics are drawn from land use codes used by the Coordination of Information on the Environment (COR.IN.E) project initiated by the European Commission.
In his book “Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding”, Guardian columnist and author George Monbiot writes “The sheep has caused more extensive environmental damage in this country than all the building that has ever taken place here”. The book published in 2013, has been reprinted over 30 times in hardback and has led to a national debate over the merits of restoring the country to a wilder state.
Rewilding calls for the reintroduction of locally extinct species to different landscapes. Rewilding advocates say this can increase the diversity of other flora and fauna, enable woodlands to expand and help reconnect people with nature. For that, Lister has been also dubbed the Wolf-Man, for his inspiration by Yellowstone National Park where the introduction of a single pack of wolves in 1995 led to one of the most remarkably positive ecological turnarounds of the modern world.
On Thursday, 24th of September 2020, Paul Lister will be speaking live from the Highlands for a passionate discussion about the intrinsic connection between us and nature. Paul will be joined by Pieter-Paul Groenhuijsen, General Manager of Alladale Wilderness Reserve who will be talking to Lister about his future conservation projects around Europe through the European Nature Trust & Alladale Wilderness Reserve's philosophy & purpose.
The virtual event is organised by Satopia Travel as part of the Dare to Dream series of conversations, all events are free and open to the public.
Thursday, 24th of September 2020 at 5pm BST/6pm CEST
You can register for the virtual event that will be held on Zoom here.
Satopia Travel have partnered with Alladale Wilderness Reserve for a series of Culinary Hosted Experiences around nature’s four seasons with world-renowned chefs. Guests will join the chefs on the wilderness reserve for exclusive experiences of fire-cooking, local and seasonal menus, all inspired by the Scottish Highlands.
These experiences are an opportunity for people championing conservation projects, and passionate about food to spend time in nature to learn about rewilding in Scotland. Guests can apply to get on the Guestlist and join Marco Pierre White, Raymond Bland or Francis Mallmann in 2021. Learn more about these experiences here.
This press release has been written by co-Founder and Head of Hosted Experiences, Ahmed Gouda
About The European Nature Trust
An Environmental conservation and Non-profit organisation dedicated to the protection of Europe’s remaining wild places, and restoring those already lost. The trust is doing this by raising awareness and funds for conservation and restoration of European wilderness, with a mission to connect people to nature.
About Satopia Travel
Satopia Travel specialises in unique experiences led by world-class hosts.
This virtual event is part of the Dare to Dream series of virtual experiences, free and open to the public events organised by Satopia Travel, with world thought-leaders as they talk about how travel helps to make a difference in the world and they remind us why we all must keep travelling and continue to dream.
For enquiries please contact
Wolf Reintroduction Changes Ecosystem in Yellowstone
COR.IN.E Land Cover