A crowdfunding bond in partnership between leading rewilding charity Trees for Life and Triodos Bank UK has raised £2 million in less than 48 hours. It will be used to part-fund the world’s first rewilding centre in the Scottish Highlands.
The bond offer was launched on the evening of Monday 13 September and reached its target on Wednesday – making it Triodos Bank’s fastest ever crowdfunding raiseto reach £2 million. The average investment size was £4,800, with 8% of investors based in Scotland.
The new Rewilding Centre at the Trees for Life Dundreggan estate in Glenmoriston will showcase how rewilding allows nature to recover. It will enable visitors to explore wild landscapes, discover Gaelic culture and learn about the region’s unique wildlife all year round. The £6 million attraction is expected to open to the public in spring 2023 and will welcome over 70,000 visitors annually by 2030.
Bevis Watts, CEO of Triodos Bank UK, said: “This was the first time that we’ve offered investors the opportunity to invest directly in a rewilding charity – and we were blown away by the response. It’s clear that people across the UK are passionate about protecting our natural world and that they are willing to back this financially. We see caring for the natural environment and our own future prosperity as interlinked, and the overwhelming demand for this investment shows that many people share this belief too.”
Steve Micklewright, chief executive of Trees for Life, commented: “We have always benefitted from the support of volunteers, donors and many others across our community, but we were taken aback by the enthusiasm of investors in our crowdfunding offer.
“We are delighted that we can move forward with our plans to connect thousands of people to nature. Dundreggan will showcase how large-scale nature recovery can give people amazing experiences, create jobs and benefit local communities.”
Once complete, the centre will boost the rural economy through at least 15 (full-time equivalent) new local jobs. An all-weather visitor centre, café and events space will act as the gateway to fully accessible trails, child-friendly forest experiences and more adventurous walks, while an accessible accommodation space will allow for longer educational and volunteering stays.
Income generated by the centre will support Trees for Life in their aim to rewild the Scottish Highlands. The charity plans to increase woodland cover at Dundreggan alone from 26% to 41% over the next 10 years.
Investors will receive 6% gross interest per year over the nine-year bond. As with all investments, interest payments and return of capital are not guaranteed.
Notes to editors
For further information and photos please contact:
Ellie James, Triodos Bank
- 0117 311 0241
- [email protected]
Trees for Life published an offer document dated September 2021. Applications can only be made on the basis of, and subject to, the terms and conditions of the information contained in the offer document which includes the terms and conditions of the Triodos Crowdfunding website. Trees for Life is a private company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland with registered office East Whins, The Park, Findhorn, Forres, Morayshire, Scotland, IV36 3TH (registered number SC143304). Trees for Life is registered with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator with registered charity number SC021303.
About Trees for Life
Trees for Life is dedicated to rewilding the Scottish Highlands. Its volunteers have established nearly two million native trees at dozens of sites, encouraging wildlife to flourish and helping communities to thrive.
What is rewilding?
Rewilding is the large-scale restoration of nature, to help tackle the nature, climate and health crises – helping wildlife recover, and benefiting people and local communities.
Why a rewilding centre?
Rewilding offers us a different, more collaborative relationship with the natural world, by working with nature rather than against it. It provides a positive vision and practical solutions to an uncertain future; one that is being shaped by a climate emergency, biodiversity crisis, global pandemic, and a realisation that ‘business as usual’ is not working.
Rewilding involves practical action that everyone can play a part in - from tree planting to restoring whole environments and from rewilding ourselves to reintroducing lost wildlife. Scotland, the UK and the wider world need a place where rewilding can be explored, undertaken and shared. That is why we want to create the world’s first Rewilding Centre at Dundreggan, a place where rewilding has been happening since 2008.
About Triodos Bank
Founded in 1980, Triodos Bank has become a frontrunner in sustainable banking globally. As an independent bank that promotes responsible and transparent banking, it does not see any conflict between a focus on people and the planet and a good financial return. Instead it believes that they reinforce each other in the long-term.
Triodos Bank has banking activities in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Spain and Germany as well as Investment Management activities based in the Netherlands but active globally. Triodos Bank co-founded the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), a network of 63 sustainable banks. Together these banks want to grow sustainable banking and its impact on the real economy substantially.
Triodos Bank UK Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Triodos Bank NV. Registered Office: Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS. Registered in England and Wales Company No. 11379025. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 817008. VAT reg no 793493383.