The seasonal tours are the latest offering from Kinkell Byre, an up-market wedding venue located in a converted barn on a former arable and livestock farm just outside St Andrews.
They will run from September to March each year, offering wedding guests and other visitors the chance to learn more about rewilding, the Fife coastline and the historical seaside town.
Business owner Rory Fyfe, who lives on the farm and began the Rewilding Kinkell project in 2020, will lead the tours.
He will explain the reasons why rewilding is so important for the environment and how it will benefit the land at Kinkell by allowing natural processes to take hold once again, reversing the loss of biodiversity caused by intensive farming and encouraging the return of native plants, insects, bees, birds and larger animals.
Guests will also learn how an increase in plant life will capture greater quantities of climate-warming carbon from the atmosphere and have the chance to meet Kinkell’s special team of ‘conservation grazers’ – Highland cows Coco and Ginger – and hear why they are important.
The first stage of the rewilding project has already seen 6,430 native trees planted, 10 wetlands created, wildflower meadows sown and 981m of fencing erected to allow free-roaming conservation grazing in the future. More works are in progress.
The tour will take visitors around the site, giving details of each element of the project. Participants will also be taken on a walk along the local shoreline, a site of special scientific interest, to learn about its important features and the volcanic geology of the area. The tour will continue past a secret beach and cave into the town of St Andrews to learn more about landmarks such as the harbour, castle and cathedral.
“Part of our mission as a sustainable business is to reconnect people with nature and we believe that we can achieve this through these tours,” Mr Fyfe said.
“There is a lack of understanding of everything that nature does for us, which has led to the crises we face today. Through these tours we hope to do our part to educate people in the importance of biodiversity and help bring them closer to nature.”
Kinkell has recently opened 10 new eco-friendly cabins with sea views on the site, providing hi-spec accommodation for weekday getaways and weekend wedding guests. The venue is hosting a special ‘doors open’ day on the weekend of 7 and 8 January, when couples planning to tie the knot can explore options for a wedding in the wild.
The Rewilding Kinkell project has been made possible due to two significant grants received from the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund, coupled with support received from the Woodland Trust, numerous volunteers and the Northwoods Rewilding Network.