I’m proud to be part of the Scotland ‘The Big Picture’ team – a group of photographers and film makers promoting the case for a wilder Scotland.
Through my travels I have been privileged to experience a range of landscapes from untouched wilderness to lands which have been heavily affected man over the course of centuries. The more I am away from the UK the more I find an affinity for its landscapes and none more so than Scotland.
Sadly the Highlands have been radically changed by man from their natural state. The often barren beauty belies the fact that once upon a time trees covered the landscape. Hazel, rowan and alder. Oak, pine and birch. Aspen, juniper and willow the all made their home amongst these beautiful hills. The flora supported a whole range of species from humble ants to apex predators like the lynx, bear and wolf. Whilst the full restoration of habits and species remains a lofty end goal, the process of rewilding is well underway. Areas of Scotland are now seeing the planting of native trees and the restoration of ecosystems. All the while awareness is increasing with important conversations taking place between governments, communities and land owners. Challenges still remain, including overgrazing from sheep and deer, the game and fishing industry, wind farms and public perception (particularly with regard to apex predators). However, with a concerted effort, natural systems can be restored.
Whilst recognising potential for the rewilding of Scotland it is also important to celebrate the landscape that we have today. The Highlands are a remarkable landscape enjoyed by thousands of visitors each year. Through public engagement and enthusiasm for the region the case for a wilder Scotland can be furthered.
My small piece in this complex jigsaw is showing the wild beauty of the Highlands through the medium of time-lapse. Hopefully this film can in a small way enthuse people to come and enjoy the mountains.
Thanks to all the contributing photographers including Guy Richardson, Mark Hamblin, Peter Cairns and James Shooter.