Working to revive an Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland in Aberdeenshire

Welcome to the BRAE NEW WORLD project

BRAE NEW WORLD is our environmental regeneration and rewilding project, working to revive Brae of Towie – a 28 acre, isolated hillside of degraded, Ancient Semi-Natural Woodland in Aberdeenshire

Hello from us! We are Jos, Rick and our greyhound Star.

We’re not ecologists, farmers or foresters. We’re just two people and their dog, who really want to help the environment in these times of climate crisis.

So in 2021 we spent our life savings on a hillside…

And in 2022 we started the BRAE NEW WORLD project, making it official under the umbrella of Jos’ award-winning social enterprise, Ziggy’s Wish.

You can find out more about Ziggy’s Wish below, but first here’s more about Brae of Towie, BRAE NEW WORLD, and how you can get involved…

Please support the BRAE NEW WORLD project

Through our HUTS

Come and experience a truly restorative retreat into nature, in the super cosy off-grid huts we’re building.

They’re not ready just yet, but you’re still welcome to visit at anytime. We’ll talk you through our plans, walk you through the woods, and be very open to your input!

If you’d like to come and see us on the brae, during this fascinating developmental period, please email us at the address down below and we’ll arrange a date and time.

Through our DIARY

You can read brief updates on our BRAE NEW WORLD progress via the Notes tab in the menu, BUT if you become a member of our diary club, you can follow our journey in glorious detail as an official project patron!

And there’s more…
● It’s not just exclusive access to the BRAE NEW WORLD diary that we’re offering!
● We’ll also gift special offers on future stays in our off-grid huts!!
● Plus we’ll share secret footage from our wildlife cameras!!!

Everything we earn from membership fees will support the BRAE NEW WORLD project

Through our T-SHIRTS

Visit our BRAE NEW WORLD T-shirt store for some gorgeous and sustainable, organic cotton joy.

Our T-shirts
● are made from natural materials
● are shipped in plastic-free packaging
● use environmentally friendly, water-based inks
● are made using renewable energy
● are printed to order so there’s no waste
● use no animal-derived products
● are certified organic by the Soil Association

Everything we earn from T-shirt sales will support the BRAE NEW WORLD project

You can also follow us on Instagram and sign up to our Mailing List below

In Scotland, Ancient Woodland is defined as land that is currently wooded and has been continually wooded, at least since 1750. Semi-Natural refers to ancient woodland that, through human intervention, has experienced some change in woodland structure and species composition.

Ancient woodlands are important because they include all remnants of Scotland’s original woodland; they preserve the integrity of soil ecology and associated biodiversity; and they may even preserve elements of the original Atlantic Forest (one of the richest natural areas on the planet).

They are an irreplaceable resource that we believe should be protected

Brae of Towie, like so much of our planet, is currently tired and degraded from the impact of humans who have tried and failed to make it fit a profitable model. Weakened by centuries of cutting and clearing, large areas of the brae are now dominated by gorse and bracken that outcompete the more diverse flora and fauna that once would have flourished here.

Throughout 2021 we got to know the brae:

● Studying its terrain
● Testing its soil
● Watching its weather
● Setting up trail cameras
● Always thinking about how best to protect, revive and restore…
● We even negotiated the re-routing of a proposed electrical cable that would have sliced right through the hillside, causing further detrimental disturbance to this fragile, beautiful environment

Now we have a plan!

● Regenerate the weakened woodland
● Rewild the gorse and bracken scrub
● Encourage increased biodiversity across the site
● Work with the local farmers to create wildlife corridors to other woodland patches in the area
● Build low-impact, off-grid, eco-dwellings on the land, so that ultimately this project can become self-supporting

This is the BRAE NEW WORLD project, and we hope you will join us on the journey…

Ziggy’s Wish is an award-winning social enterprise, specialising in narrative-based projects, striving to do positive work that helps change the world for the better.

Our work has helped countless people to explore and express themselves, empowering their voices and enabling them to feel heard.

Now it’s time for Brae of Towie to be heard too. As such we are delighted to partner with the BRAE NEW WORLD project and offer our administrative support.

BRAE NEW WORLD is a big project, and we are asking for your help at this early stage so that ultimately the project can become self-supporting. From track restoration to tree defenders, from rainwater capture to ram pumps, from badger behaviour to bog biodiversity… there are a great many things to work out, manage and fund.

However you get involved with BRAE NEW WORLD, we promise your support will make a difference!

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