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Working with land & people for a sustainable future

Projects

Here are some of the projects we are delivering, alongside ongoing support for our clients;

Ardtornish x University of Edinburgh Natural Capital Partnership

Ardtornish and the University of Edinburgh have entered a pioneering 100-year natural capital partnership to create new native woodland and restore degraded peatland over 1,000ha.

The university are supporting the establishment and long-term maintenance of these habitats via the purchase of carbon credits; validated and verified under government endorsed methodologies.

The partnerships’ work also focuses on the improvement of freshwater habitats, promises unique research opportunities for academics and students at the university and benefits for the community of Morvern, with Ardtornish serving as a long-term outdoor living laboratory where the impacts of the projects, changing ecosystems, conservation and restoration efforts can be monitored in the long-term.

Sylvestris acted on behalf of Ardtornish in brokering the terms of the natural capital and research partnership.

Aline Catchment Restoration, NRF Transforming Nature Fund: Ardtornish

The project combines in-river and riparian restoration, with wider land management changes over the Aline’s 1,263ha catchment to improve the health and climate resilience of the river, its tributaries and the loch. 

Sylvestris are project managers and grant writers for this £800k project which also facilitates the expansion of CAOLAS’ work reintroducing native oysters to Loch Aline.

The project runs to March 2026.

Restoring the River South Esk, NRF Transforming Nature Fund:
Rottal

Sylvestris represents Rottal in a consortium of organisations delivering this 4-year nature restoration project across three of the Angus Glens. The project will contribute to the climate resilience of the glens and reverse the decline of biodiversity. 

The project has been awarded a total of £1.4m, the largest award in its round, to create 35ha of wetland along the South Esk, remeandering of 250m of the March burn, in-river habitat creation, and significant riparian revegetation.

The project is being delivered in conjuction with the River South Esk Catchement Partnership. The partners have been asked to present the plans at the River Restoration Centre Annual Conference 2024 in Llandudno, Wales, and to present a paper to the CIEEM 2024 Scotland Conference (Reshaping Scotland: Nature Restoration in Action). 

Moray Farm Cluster: NRF Transforming Nature Fund

Sylvestris secured Highlands & Islands Environment Foundation and Nature Restoration Development Fund grants to establish the group which brings together 14 farm businesses across 6,600ha in the Laich of Moray and deliver their collective ambitions to become the first group of its kind in Scotland to work together to create, restore and extend habitat at scale in a productive arable landscape. 

We are project managing scoping of creation of nature networks and significant wetland and river restoration to improve the climate resilience of the cluster’s landscape.

Natural Capital:
Alliance for Scotland's Rainforest FIRNS

Sylvestris helped ASR securing £208k in FIRNS funding to develop a vehicle to channel high-integrity private finance into rainforest restoration, and now project manages that project. 

The project is modelling the financial viability of rainforest restoration using existing markets for ecosystem services, and has developed a framework to ensure the integrity of the projects supported by the mechanism, and its financial partners. 

Sylvestris are working with Argyll and the Islands, Coast and Countryside Trust, Palladium and Make+Do studios to deliver this project which runs to March 2025.

Sylvestris also co-chair the Alliance for Scotland’s Rainforest Natural Capital Finance group. 

Woodland Creation for Climate Resilience:
Rottal

Sylvestris are supporting the restoration of 500ha of native broadleaf woodland as part of Rottal’s ambitions towards improved biodiversity and greater climate resilience. 

The woodland combines low density planting, natural regeneration and riparian woodland and is being designed in collaboration with the Cairngorms National Park Authority and the RSPB. The scheme will be delivered from autumn 2024 and will be made viable through the sale of woodland carbon credits.

Natural Capital Partnership Peatland Restoration & Woodland Creation:
Corrour

In 2023, Sylvestris supported the restoration of 175ha of degraded peatland through the validation of ~30,000 PIUs. The project was the first phase in Corrour’s ambitious multi-year programme of peatland restoration. 

Phases 2 and 3 are being validated, with restoration commencing in March 2024 over a 600ha project area. Phase 4 and 5 are in development.

Natural Regeneration
Working Group:
Woodland Carbon Code

On behalf of Corrour, Sylvestris convene a working group to support the Woodland Carbon Code develop updates to the Code to better support landscape-scale natural regeneration projects. The group brings together representatives from across the forestry industry as well as the Woodland Carbon Code team and its validators, to define the amendments and methodologies required to reflect projects in which carbon sequestration is being achieved through the reduction in herbivore pressure without the use of fences.

Natural Capital Review: Scottish Wildlife Trust

In 2022 Sylvestris supported Scottish Wildlife Trust in a review of their flagship reserve, Ben Mor Coigach. We helped the Trust identify a set of environmental and social indicators that capture the ambitions of the reserve; from encouraging the regeneration of native woodland habitats, restoring peatland habitats, creating thriving freshwater habitats, to the reserve’s contribution to the local community and agreed a process by which the reserve could use the metrics as a management tool to achieve its ambitions.