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 stalked wooded glades. Eagles and hawks soared undisturbed. Today, although it’s easy to be seduced by the raw beauty of the landscape, Scotland has become one of the most ecologically depleted nations on Earth. Our large carnivores have gone. Our soils are impoverished and across millions of acres, a bare, degraded landscape supports very little life.
It doesn’t have to be this way. A bold vision for the future is slowly emerging where native woodlands regenerate at a landscape scale; where damaged peatlands are restored; where rivers run freely and where oceans are full of life.
This is the vision of a wilder Scotland – a place where nature works, where wildlife flourishes and crucially, where people prosper.
Some of Scotland’s top photographers and camera operators have spent years capturing the beauty of the country’s landscape and its wild inhabitants. In this show, photographer Peter Cairns showcases their stunning imagery, but also poses an intriguing question: What should Scotland look like?