It wasn’t long ago that wild forests stretched their fingers across much of Scotland. Beavers and cranes found sanctuary in extensive wetlands, salmon and trout filled Scotland's rivers, and lynx, wolf and wild boar stalked woodland glades.
Today, Scotland has become a much more nature-depleted nation. All of our large carnivores have gone and across huge areas the intricate and balanced ecosystem that emerged from the last ice age has unravelled.
It doesn’t have to be this way. A bold vision for Scotland’s future is evolving; a vision that sees native woodland regenerating; a vision where damaged peatlands are restored, and rivers lined by alder and willow run freely; a vision that sees a wilder landscape driven by natural processes, supporting a much broader range of wildlife than exists today.
This new vision is being spearheaded by a group of photographers and filmmakers who have spent the last three years gathering images to make the case for a wilder Scotland. And one of these campaigners is Peter Cairns, a conservation photographer based in the Cairngorms.
Now, Peter is speaking in Perth and showcasing his stunning images. With spectacular mountaintops and ocean floors, and featuring iconic species such as beavers, ospreys and pine martens, Peter will pose an intriguing question: What should Scotland look like?
Commenting on the upcoming talk, Peter said:
“I’m delighted to be part of an inspiring line up of speakers all with fascinating stories to tell. From my home in the Cairngorms, I’m lucky to be able to look out onto forests of Scots pine, hills of granite and the rushing waters of the River Feshie. Spectacular a place though this is, there are pieces missing.”
“Today, although it’s easy to be seduced by the raw beauty of the Scottish landscape, it is sadly an ecological shadow of its former self. Our native woodland covers just 2% of its former range, many species that were once prolific now teeter on the edge, and our large carnivores are all gone. My presentations for the Royal Scottish Geographical Society will showcase this country’s undoubted beauty and drama, but against a backdrop of global biodiversity decline”
Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the RSGS remarked:
“Scotland’s landscape is one of its most treasured assets, and this talk by Peter will demonstrate our country’s raw beauty in spectacular fashion. It is, however, a landscape under pressure and one that is not as untouched by humans as it may first appear. I hope this talk will inspire our audiences to think more closely about ‘wilderness’ in general and some of the possible mechanisms we might adopt to conserve, re-invigorate and improve our natural assets.”
Peter will be speaking in Perth on Tuesday 12th March at 7.30pm in The Salutation Hotel, 34 South Street, Perth, PH2 8PH.
Tickets to see Peter are available via Eventbrite or on the door. They are £10 for visitors, £8 for Tiso Outdoor Experience Cardholders, and FREE for RSGS Members, Students and U18s.