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Open Country
Sat  6.10 - 6.35am
Thurs 1.30 - 2.00pm (rpt)
Local people making their corner of rural Britain unique
This week
Saturday 19 July
Repeated Thursday 24 July
Listen to this programme in full
Wild Boar, Alladale Estate
Should long extinct animals be brought back to their former habitats? Helen Mark looks at the concept of rewilding in this week's Open Country
It's been more than 200 years since wild boar were a staple of the forests of  Scotland. Indeed, it's been more than 1,000 since moose roamed the plains. Yet the Alladale Estate in the highlands has brought back these two animals in a bid to create unique nature reserve. Rewilding -- the idea of bringing back long extinct native plant and animals species to particular areas -- is big business in Scotland and Helen Mark visits the highlands to see some examples. Alladale is perhaps the best known of these projects because of their controversial bid to reintroduce the big predators -- wolves and even lynx. Helen chats with estate manager Hugh Fullerton-Smith about their plans.

Bringing back long gone species can pose problems for the animals that are still theren. Adrian Davis is a specialist in the Scottish wild cat -- an ellusive predator in the highlands. He is currently conducting a survey on the cats -- trying to guage their numbers and territories. He tells Helen his worries for wildcat number if a  place like Alladale were to reintroduce  lynx.  The competition could prove fatal for the wild cat.
Not all reintroductions are controversial. On a farm just outside Stirling, the land owner and the RSPB have set up a viewing centre for bird watchers to view red kites. The birds were brought back to the area 5 years ago and have thrived in their surroundings on Lerrocks Farm. Professor Colin Galbraith from Scottish Natural Heritage explains how they decide what animals to bring back.

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