Bear Grylls Survival Academy Survival in the Highlands takes place at
Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Sutherland, Scottish Highlands
A welcome message from reserve owner, Paul Lister
“When our good friends at Worldwide Experience (WWE) approached me to ask if I would consider making Alladale Wilderness Reserve available for locating the first Bear Grylls Survival Academy in Britain, it did not take me long to begin warming to the concept.
Alladale is a 23,000 acre “Highland jewel in the crown” that we are now proud to call a “Wilderness Reserve”. Devoid of “Munros” (hills over 3,000 feet), crofters (tenant farmers) and wind turbines, it features two mighty glens running west across some of the most inspiring and challenging landscapes in the British Isles. From the highest point of the Reserve, an unparalleled view is afforded of both the Atlantic and the North Sea.
It is not commonly understood that over the last 500 years, Scotland has lost 99% of its native forest. The Romans called the massive forests that ran west from Dundee, to Loch Ness and then north to Alladale in Sutherland, “The Great Wood of Caledon”. Sheer greed not only saw man and his axe develop an insatiable appetite for the hardiest, slowest growing timbers destined for ship building; equally abhorrent was the eradication of much of Scotland’s native fauna – the last wolf being shot in 1743.
For the last nine years, my vision of “restoring the balance of nature” is well underway. Over 750,000 native trees have been planted, herds of wild boar and European Bison returned to the Reserve, released into secure enclosures as part of our determination to underpin the theory of exemplary environmental conservation practice with scientific fact. Our most recent wildlife project has involved the building of the first Scottish Wildcat Breeding Centre; this extraordinary, iconic animal being one of the most threatened felids in the world.
The Bear Grylls Survival Academy strikes a real accord with our commitment to personal youth development; an adult version designed by the doyen of wilderness survival techniques and “outreach” experiences. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Bear Grylls team and Worldwide Experience and we are particularly excited that the first camp took place in November 2012”.
Paul Lister, Founder of The European Nature Trust