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From Planting more than 8,000 trees to Walking with Bees and hanging with Bats Rewilding Kinkell has been increasing biodiversity bit by bit in Fife’s East Neuk.

Coco and Ginger the Highland Cows at Kinkell Byre
We’ve had a very busy and productive year here at Rewilding Kinkell. For those of you who aren’t familiar with us, we are an ex-arable farm of 100 acres based just outside St. Andrews, and we are rewilding our land to improve biodiversity, combat climate change and reinstate healthy ecosystems to the best of our ability.

We’ve had a very busy and productive year here at Rewilding Kinkell. For those of you who aren’t familiar with us, we are an ex-arable farm of 100 acres based just outside St. Andrews, and we are rewilding our land to improve biodiversity, combat climate change and reinstate healthy ecosystems to the best of our ability.

In January we took delivery of just under 6,000 trees ready for planting over the next few months, and students from SRUC Elmwood attended during January and February to plant some of the many metres of hedgerows that we have reinstated this year. Funding from the Nature Restoration Fund (administered by Nature Scot) allowed us to finalise the digging of our new ponds with the help of a local contractor. In March we welcomed volunteers from the Fife and Kinross Bat Group who planted another row of hedges, and we hosted a community planting day with local charity, Footprint East Neuk which was well attended by local families. This brought our winter planting of 2022 / 2023 to 8,473 trees, including a total of 1,420m of new hedgerows! Species-wise, we concentrated our efforts on planting native species which included oak, crab apple, goat willow, rowan, Scots pine, silver birch, wild cherry, blackthorn, dog rose, elder, hawthorn, hazel and holly.

In April we registered a “BeeWalk” transect with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. BeeWalk is the standardised bumblebee-monitoring scheme active across Great Britain, and the aims of the scheme are to collect abundance and distribution data on Britain’s bumblebees. We also sowed our 7.5-acre wildflower meadow in April with the aim of providing food and nesting opportunities for insects, birds and small mammals. We are extremely passionate about wildflower meadow restoration due to the sad decline of 97% of our wildflower meadows in the UK since the 1970s; and we are grateful for the funding we received through the Nature Restoration Fund to allow us to do this.

May, June, July and August seemed to go by in a flash and were taken up with bee surveys, project preparation for our wider goals, as well as engaging with members of the public who were keen to participate in our “Meet and Feed” experience with our two Highland cows: Coco and Ginger.

In August we welcomed a local ecologist who carried out a vegetation survey for us, to gauge the impact of our conservation grazing, and September, October and November were physically challenging with the building of various fencing enclosures which will allow us to move our Highland cattle into areas that have previously been planted. Tree protection and management is high on our agenda as we want to make sure that we look after our new plantations as best we can. Now in December, we are delighted to share with you that OSCR (the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator) has approved our application, and we now have charitable status under the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005.

We have worked really hard all year to get to this stage, and we are looking forward to taking our rewilding project goals further! Please feel free to follow our progress across social media here : Lastly, if you are still searching for that perfect Christmas gift, why not buy your friends or family a gift voucher to meet and feed Coco and Ginger? More information can be obtained by emailing

By Kinkell Byre Rewilding Officer, Jenny Paterson.

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Craig Leitch Fife Climate Hub Manager

team I worked for Greener Kirkcaldy and on the Climate Action Fife Project. My role was to deliver climate literacy training and inspire climate action. I also supported FCCAN as their secretariat.

My background is in wildlife conservation where I mainly worked to share the joys of nature with people as a ranger, leading guided walks and as education officer.  

One small change is to talk to people about climate change. Share your worries and celebrate your positive actions. You really do have power to influence those around you.  

Alternatively: buy (and sell)  second hand. There are so many apps out there now to help with this. This means fewer emissions, fewer things going to landfill and it saves you money.