The authors of the new publication want to catalyse change in Scottish conservation by shifting attitudes and sparking debate.
With support from Rewilding Europe, a beautiful hardcover book calling for a wilder Scotland has just been released. Entitled SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey, the eye-catching, landmark conservation publication was co-written by Rewilding Europe’s multimedia producer Susan Wright, Peter Cairns and Nick Underdown. It was published by SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, a non-profit social enterprise (and member of the European Rewilding Network) that includes many of the United Kingdom’s top nature and conservation photographers. The book received support from a range of other partners, including Rewilding Britain, Woodland Trust Scotland and Trees for Life and was funded by a hugely successful crowdfunding appeal run by the latter.
“This book is a rallying call for a wilder Scotland – where forests full of life are regenerating, rivers lined with alder and willow run freely, damaged peatlands are revitalised, and our oceans support the great whales,” says Steve Micklewright, CEO of Trees for Life. “It’s all about inspiring an appreciation of the huge benefits a wilder Scotland would bring to people and wildlife.”
Also containing essays from leading conservation commentators, SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey showcases breathtaking photography by the SCOTLAND: The Big Picture team, who have spent the last three years capturing the beauty and drama of Scotland’s landscape and its wild inhabitants – including golden eagles, beavers, ospreys, red squirrels and pine martens.
It wasn’t so long ago that vibrant, wild forest stretched across much of Scotland. Beavers and cranes were at home in extensive wetlands. Salmon and trout filled the rivers. Lynx, wolf and wild boar roamed wooded glades. Today, although it’s easy to be seduced by the raw beauty of the Scottish landscape, it’s sadly an ecological shadow of its former self. Scotland’s seas are in trouble too – with wild salmon stocks declining, heavy dredging raking the sea floor, and gannets feeding their chicks plastic waste.
“Our large carnivores have gone, our woodlands are small and fragmented, and a bare, degraded landscape supporting little life stretches across millions of acres,” says SCOTLAND: The Big Picture project director Peter Cairns, who also contributed some stunning imagery to the new book.
“But it doesn’t have to be this way,” he continues. “This book portrays a vision for a wilder Scotland – a place where nature works as it should, where wildlife flourishes, and where people, crucially, can really prosper.”
Momentum for rewilding has been slowly building in Scotland. Initiatives such as the Cairngorms Connect project – a record-breaking land management partnership that is enhancing habitats across a vast stretch of the Cairngorms National Park – are now taking off, bringing benefits to both man and wild nature.
- The printed version of Rewilding Scotland is available here.
- To attend a presentation on the new book in Edinburgh on November 24, click here.