This weekend's Sunday Post column
Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf? Well not MFI heir, millionaire and Highland landowner Paul Lister. He’s raised eyebrows with plans to create a Wilderness Park on 23 thousand acres of the Alladale Estate in Sutherland populated with the “Big Five” – bear, lynx, boar, moose and wolf. Scary or exciting? Well you don’t need to be Little Red Riding Hood to fear the wolf. In Scotland these natural predators lived closer to people and flocks of sheep and cattle than in the wild, endless forests of Scandinavia and North America. Wars left corpses littering battlefields and gave some packs a taste for human flesh. This meant wolves became feared and hated as a personification of the Devil. The last wolf in Scotland (probably) was killed in 1743 at Findhorn – but destruction of Scotland's great natural forest – the wolf’s habitat – finally brought them to extinction. In recent years though, public attitudes have softened.