Politicians are being urged to make Scotland the world’s first “rewilding nation” and seize the encompassed social and economic benefits.

The Scottish Rewilding Alliance is appealing to political parties to commit to a series of key policies to achieve this.

More than three quarters of Scots support the principle of rewilding, according to a poll run by the organisation last year.

Convener of the Scottish Rewilding Alliance, Steve Micklewright, said: “The parties and the public face many choices at this election, including major decisions which will shape the future of Scotland’s lands and seas.

“We can do so much better than the status quo, which has left us with damaged and unproductive lands and seas, degraded carbon sinks, and a biodiversity crisis in parallel with the climate crisis.

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"The Scottish Rewilding Alliance is today urging all the political parties to commit to five key policy decisions over the next session, measures which can unlock rural and coastal economic potential, help us protect against climate change and reduce our emissions, while allowing our plants and wildlife to come back in strength.”

The organisation aims to get parties to commit to rewilding 30% of public land and establishing a special fund to support rewilding in towns and cities – to maximise the number of Scots benefiting from wild spaces.

The Alliance also encouraging political leaders to support the reintroduction of key species to Scotland, where there is a suitable habitat and local support - including rehoming beavers and launching a pilot project to reintroduce Eurasion lynx.

Additionally, it promotes the establishment of an inshore recovery zone in Scotland’s waters where dredging and trawling are prohibited, and robust management of the country’s deer population.

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The Alliance believes that these policies could protect biodiversity and boost rural employment.

It insists that bold measures are needed to tackle nature and climate crises.

Micklewright concluded: “We know the public wants to see politicians make real progress on rewilding, and we would encourage people to take these issues into account when they’re looking at the parties’ manifestos.

“The opportunities here are substantial, for our climate, biodiversity, and for a wide range of potential social and economic benefits associated with making Scotland the world’s first rewilding nation.”