A wealthy landowner is pushing ahead with his plans for a wolf reserve in the Highlands - despite protests.

Paul Lister, a trustee of the European Nature Trust, said he believes the initiative could create 50 jobs in a remote area in the north of Scotland.

Mr Lister, who owns Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Sutherland, believes it could become the equivalent of Yellowstone Park in the USA and help attract visitors to the region.

On the estate’s website Mr Lister said: “We are looking at creating a site of 50,000 acres - which is less than 1% of the Highlands - where we could release a pack of Swedish wolves into a controlled environment. It would be a world class visitor attraction and I believe we can make this idea happen: a kind of Yellowstone of Scotland.”

He added: “It can bring significant benefits to the area in terms of biodiversity, tourism, job creation and education."

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Recently Rural Economy Minister Fergus Ewing told farmers that wolves, bears and lynx will be reintroduced to Scotland “over my dead body.”

Mr Ewing told the NFU Scotland (NFUS) AGM in February that the reintroduction of any species that makes farming more difficult “won’t happen in Scotland as long as I’m around”.