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

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 off-grid guest huts 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…

BRAE NEW WORLD is grateful to social enterprise Ziggy’s Wish for their support. Ziggy’s Wish is a registered company that develops storytelling methods with groups and individuals for social benefit. They bring financial transparency to BRAE NEW WORLD, ensuring 100% of monies made through the BRAE NEW WORLD T-shirt store or any other fundraising efforts go towards the environmental regeneration and rewilding of Brae of Towie.