Bamff Wildland crowdfunder

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/bamff-wild-land

The Bamff Wildland crowdfunder is getting robust support and has already passed 60% of its target. Have a look – click here – and please support it if you can.

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11 Replies to “Bamff Wildland crowdfunder”

  1. I wholeheartedly approve of what they are trying to do but can't get over a hesitancy to donate to a privately owned family who own a lot of land and dwellings. I donated to the Langholm buyout and support appeals by charities, such as the Woodland Trust, John Muir Trust, to buy land to manage for conservation/sustainability.
    I mean who knows what their next generation might do? Perhaps opt for "factory farming", or driven game shooting? Am I being too cynical here? I will try and support by perhaps holidaying in one of their properties when I feel safe to do so.

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    1. You are entitled to do whatever you wish with your own money so if you prefer to donate to other causes that is your perfect right and no-one can criticize you for that. With respect to the points you make, though, I would say that the fact that (i) the people running this project own the land privately does not necessarily mean they have the spare cash to carry out the works needed; (ii) what they are aiming to do will be beneficial to wildlife and seems unlikely to be able to happen without the crowdfunder and (iii) few things in life are certain so who knows what may happen here in the future? However, the people involved seem to have shown by their past actions that they are serious and have a long term commitment and also, if they are successful in establishing a MacKnepp, that will provide habitat for loads of creatures for as long as it lasts that wouldn't be available otherwise and which in the future probably won't lend itself to factory farming particularly easily.

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    2. I happen to know this family which is why I was more than happy to chip in. I first became aware of them in Hugh Warwick's book 'The Beauty in the Beast', where they came across as modern day Durrells and I was delighted to meet them after initially becoming facebook friends a couple of years later. As for the next generation I only know Sophie out of the four siblings, but the idea they will overturn their parents' work is not worth considering, they're all cut from the very same block. One of the three sons Adam is a noted and highly respected left wing commentator, his dad Paul has very much gone against the flow of Scottish landowners and I'm so very pleased he and Louise are part of our community rather than that one.

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      1. This is one of the unique and wonderful things about this blog that I will miss hugely when it is scaled back.
        I share precisely the reservations outlined by Carole above, which have held me back from making a donation. Then along come two comments from respected and authoritative contributors, and my concerns are pretty much laid to rest. Thanks to all concerned.

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        1. Yes - I made the comment to see if anyone could convince me it wasn't just another scheme like the one that Andy Wightman had trouble with re. Wildcats.

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  2. Interested to see 5 comments since I looked at this yesterday, I took another look. Having purchased chunks of Langholm, Hope and lord knows where else via WLT, I too felt as Carole did in this instance. Jonathan has made a good case and Les has given a bit of background that I felt was lacking. Another trip down the back of the sofa then.

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  3. Thanks for all helpful comments. I'm not such a regular commenter here but like Les and others I know the Ramsays - and I need to declare an interest, in that I'm on the Steering Committee for Bamff Wildland. But that means I can also confirm the impossibility of getting public money for this (I've helped with few unsuccessful funding proposals, like Biodiversity Challenge Fund!) - and the idea of real public money for public goods (ecosystem services) is I think further away from reality in Scotland than in England where there is at least good discussion about ELMS etc. (Fergus Ewing manages to block any discussion of this other than for food production as 'the only public good' in relation to 'farmland' and NFUS is against any kinds of ecosystem service/ rural payments to farmers for having beavers/ beaver wetlands). I can also confirm that there is a huge amount of voluntary effort going into Bamff - we're all volunteers on the committees, lots of volunteer tree planting and rhododendron clearance from local groups; BioBlitzes, Bug hunts and citizen science (and student) monitoring etc. Others have said everything above about the Ramsays and their commitment to rewilding the land 'in perpetuity'. Like Les, I recommend Adam's writing (for Open Democracy) - and Sophie is already going further than the previous generation (she's stopped the pheasant shoot too!). Another thing I really like which you certainly don't see everywhere is a commitment to the local community and local jobs. It's a tricky balance still trying to make a business case - e.g. keep the farming tenancy viable for those other families (and local contractors etc. etc.) who need that to make a living - while 'giving up' land which could be financially more productive for Bamff if they continued to farm it intensively for food. Demonstrating real, wider socio-economic benefits while managing land much less intensively is another key objective that I find really interesting (to help counter all the false 'local community and local economic benefits' that the DGS estates and SGA et al put out about supporting rural areas through sport shooting). One of my favourite indicators from Knepp is the one about the number of people who now make a living from the same land area (Knepp) through various diverse and more sustainable activities (instead of intensive dairy/ agriculture). I think it's the same number of people as records show made a living from Knepp in one way or another in the 1700s? (sorry haven't had time to check facts - half-remembered from Isabella Tree's talk at the last Birdfair!).

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    1. It is only by the increasing numbers of projects of this nature, of whatever acreage, that the publics interest will be fired, and opinion force a change against politicians embedded in organisations such as NFUS.

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  4. A great place to visit and well worth the support for this fantastic project. I hope bigger Rewilding projects highlight the groundbreaking work that has & is being undertaken in Bamff. Thankyou for highlighting.

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