A wilder Scotland is the dream of many. With a new partnership, SCOTLAND: The Big Picture hopes to bring that vision to more people
SCOTLAND: The Big Picture is a team of photographers, filmmakers, writers and designers committed to ‘creating high-impact communications to inspire fresh thinking around the benefits of a wilder Scotland’. The idea is to blend facts and information with the enthusiasm and visual storytelling necessary to bring their vision to life – and to showcase what is possible. They aim to prompt fresh thinking around the benefits of a wilder Scotland. The team is experienced in communicating with a mainstream audience, and they bring those skills to telling the story of rewilding and why it matters.

Scotland’s landscape may be majestic, but it has suffered from ecological degradation

The main aims of the project are to foster greater understanding of the ecological and social benefits of a greatly expanded Scottish wild forest network, connected by wildlife corridors. They want to see more land managers active in forest restoration, and to improve public understanding of the role natural processes play – not to mention the connected habitats in functioning ecosystems. That includes the benefits of restoring key species such as beavers and apex predators.
From the organisation’s website:

Scotland has become an ecological shadow of its former self but it doesn’t have to be this way. A bold vision for Scotland’s future is slowly evolving; a vision that looks forward not back; a vision that would see native woodland regenerating at a landscape scale; a vision where damaged peatlands are restored, and rivers lined by alder and willow run freely; a vision that would see a wilder, revitalised landscape driven by natural processes, supporting a much broader range of wildlife than exists today. This is the vision of a wilder Scotland, one that benefits all life, including human life.

The European Rewilding Network (ERN) is an initiative created by Rewilding Europe, an organisation ‘working to make Europe a much wilder place’ by focusing on ten selected areas in Europe where they can assist local partners to make those areas considerably wilder than before – even, they say, areas that might already be viewed as ‘wilderness’ by the public. Unlike in the UK, where rewilding ambitions are sometimes met with resistance for complex reasons, other European countries often have a more inclusive view of the possibilites, and there have been many success stories in recent years. However, much remains to be done. The ERN is actively looking to recruit more programmes and organisations to help them in their mission.

The osprey is one of the UK’s rewilding success stories, but more can be done

“Most ERN members are practical, on-the-ground projects carrying out landscape-scale rewilding,” says Peter Cairns, founder of SCOTLAND: The Big Picture. “We’re unusual in being the first communications initiative to be invited, illustrating that rewilding is not only a physical process but one that requires cultural and philosophical change. I hope that we can bring some of our experience to other ERN members to further that change across Europe.”
SCOTLAND: The Big Picture is presently working on a number of films and a landmark book making the case for a wilder Scotland, which will be accompanied by a lecture tour in 2018. Join the journey at www.scotlandbigpicture.com
All images © scotlandbigpicture.com

WATCH: introduction to SCOTLAND: The Big Picture