Rewilding Kinkell

by Kinkell Byre in St Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom

Total raised £1,295

raised so far

+ est. £111.25 Gift Aid

14

supporters

We are a rewilding charity (SC052988) concerned with the advancement of environmental protection and improving biodiversity.

by Kinkell Byre in St Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 7th May 2024 we'd raised £1,285 with 13 supporters in 69 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new charity Rewilding Kinkell, which we have set up to repair, restore and preserve ecosystems, for the benefit of the environment, biodiversity and local communities. 

We aim to create a large, connected network of rewilded land, teeming with wildlife, in the surrounding area to the south-east of St Andrews. By turning the land back over to nature on the former farm at Kinkell, and allowing natural processes to take hold again, we can help reverse the loss of biodiversity, and encourage the return of native plants, insects, bees, birds and larger animals. At the same time, an increase in plant life will also sequester carbon from the atmosphere. By educating the local community and showcasing the dramatic impact rewilding can have, we hope to persuade our neighbours to try some rewilding too.

We are initially hoping to raise £15,000 and we are very grateful for all donations, large or small. Your money will go towards enabling free-roaming conservation grazing across the land, which is critical for biodiversity. Additional funds would go towards establishing a community garden, allotments and an educational eco-hub for local schools and the community to learn about rewilding, native wildlife and biodiversity. The project will also need ongoing monitoring in the form of surveys as well as upkeep to look after our trees, ponds and animals.

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With the help of NatureScot and the Nature Restoration Fund, Woodland Trust, Scotland: The Big Picture, the Northwoods rewilding network and many kind volunteers, we have already planted over 13,000 trees, created 8 ponds and wader scrapes and have planted just under 2km of hedgerows as well as over 8 acres of wildflower meadows. 

To maximise the benefits for nature and manage the land in a sustainable way, we aim to use large free-roaming, grazing animals such as highland cows which encourage biodiversity in a variety of ways. Free roaming cattle decide for themselves where to graze, thereby creating a mosaic of different vegetation heights and micro-habitats. Lying and rolling helps increase structural diversity, which can be important for ground-nesting birds. Trampling creates areas of bare ground, producing nurseries for seedlings, and dung generates an ecosystem in its own right. This type of low intensity conservation grazing with free-roaming animals has been shown to be critical for encouraging nature to thrive. We recently welcomed 5 new highland cows in December 2023, taking our total to 7, and we have another 2 joining us in 2024! We have an agreement with Nature Scot to graze the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on the sea braes at Kinkell, and in order to do this effectively we will be implementing the use of GPS collars to enable us to manage and monitor grazing compartments.

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Why we are doing it

Rewilding is essential for addressing the twin ecological and climate crises we are facing. It is the only solution that fully addresses our catastrophic loss of biodiversity - putting nature back, or actively allowing it to come back, rather than just conserving what remains - and it has huge potential to sequester carbon and mitigate impacts of climate change like flood and drought. We’re doing as much as we can to make a difference.

We need you

While we have been able to begin our rewilding project and have made some small achievements, we will not be able to realise this vision without your support. Your interest in us and your donation, whatever its size, is vital to our success. We greatly appreciate every donation, and and the greater the support we can attract, the greater our influence to bring about significant change both locally and globally.

Please read on for more information...

Where your money will go

Initial target of £15,000 for our first phase

  • Highland cows – to maintain the health and happiness of our cows, plus associated costs with looking after them
  • No fence collars - to keep the cows away from newly planted trees, hedges, cliffs and wildflower meadows whilst maximising their ability to roam freely.
  • Upkeep - we will need to encourage healthy growth of our hedges and trees by cutting back long grasses, maintain our fences, look after our conservation grazers and implement additional enhancements such as owl boxes and amphibian hibernaculums. 
  • Monitoring – it is essential that we monitor this project closely, in order to
    produce clear data on the impact of rewilding. We are very lucky to have had
    some voluntary help from local University students so far, but we will need to pay for some targeted ecological surveys in the future.

STRETCH TARGET £50,000 – will help to kick-start our second phase with the following projects:

  • Establish a community garden with allotments on the planned St Andrews to Crail bike path, to give people the space to grow their own food in a low carbon manner.
  • Establish an educational eco-hub, creating a public space for teaching people about our project, biodiversity loss and how rewilding can address it. We would run courses in crafts and foraging to encourage people to build a closer connection with nature. 

Who we are 

The Fyfe family have farmed at Kinkell since 1950, but have diversified over the decades with Kinkell Byre hosting a wide range of events, weddings, student balls, corporate dinners, and activity days since 2003. Rory Fyfe is the project pioneer, and feels passionately about rewilding as a means to improving biodiversity, sequestering carbon, as well as providing job opportunities and contributing to the local economy in the future. 

We are one of 50+ land partners of The Northwoods Rewilding Network; a Scotland-wide chain of landholdings committed to nature recovery. We share a vision for an ecologically-restored landscape, where habitats are better connected and species can recover, expand and disperse. 

How we are doing it

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In 2021 we planted 4,000 native trees and 2,520 hedgerow trees with assistance from the Woodland Trust, funded by a grant from NatureScot. We planted another 9,000 trees as well as just under 2km of hedgerows, and sowed 8 acres of wild flower meadows during the winter season of 2022/2023. We currently have 7 highland cows who are managing the land for us.

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We've created 8 large ponds to encourage invertebrates and amphibians, and 2 wader scrapes which are ideal for wading birds like curlews, oyster catchers and lapwings, all of which have declined very noticeably in a few short years.

We aim to demonstrate the power of rewilding to help biodiversity recover and to generate community benefits and sustainable jobs, inspiring others to do the same...  

Rewards

This project offered rewards

£20 or more

Name a Highland Cow

We are looking for names for our new gang! Currently we have four females and one male; all name suggestions will be entered into a draw and a winner picked at random. Good luck!

£30 or more

Adopt a bat box

£30 pays for a single hardwearing bat box that will provide much needed summer roosting space for bats. Due to changes in building construction and woodland management practices natural cavities for bat roosts are very rare, so providing a bat box can really help bats. You will be able to name your bat box, and we will send you a certificate and a photo of it once it is in situ.

£40 or more

Bee, bird and butterfly wildflower seeds

£40 pays for 100g of special wildflower seeds to attract a variety of species from bumblebees & moths to Goldfinches. There are 30 species of wildflower in this mix, making up a mix of 100% wildflowers. We will send you a certificate as a thank you for your contribution to our rewilding effort.

£75 or more

Adopt an owl box

Adopt a Kinkell barn owl or tawny owl box. You will be able to name your box, and we will send you an adoption certificate with a photograph of your box in situ.

£150 or more

Plant a tree

Buy a "Plant a tree" reward as a gift for someone you love. The tree could either be planted in their honour or they could come and plant it themselves. We will guide you as to the species of tree to pick, so that it fits in with our rewilding principles.

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