SCOTLAND: a rewilding journey

Cairngorms wildlife photographer to deliver prestigious lecture

Love it or hate it, rewilding is guaranteed to get people talking. The idea that functional ecosystems, that preserve biodiversity whilst also delivering benefits to people, can be restored in Scotland and other parts of Britain is a hot topic. To some, the idea that we can step away from managing the environment is both plausible and attractive. To others, the impacts on agriculture, hunting, and even wildlife conservation, make the proposition preposterous.

At this year’s Mammal Society Spring Conference at Glasgow University, wildlife photographer and filmmaker Peter Cairns will be arguing for fundamental change in the way Scotland’s landscape and wildlife are managed.

Cairngorms-based Peter, explains: “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. The good news is that a bold vision for the future is slowly emerging, this is the vision of a wilder Scotland – a place where nature works, where wildlife flourishes and crucially, where people prosper. I will be looking at this as well as showcasing the work of some of Scotland’s talented photographers and filmmakers and asking the important question, what should Scotland look like?”

Peter is co-founder of major communications initiatives such as Tooth & Claw, Wild Wonders of Europe and 2020VISION. He is also co-founder of the social enterprise SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, a team of professional communicators informing and inspiring the conversation around rewilding in Scotland. He is a serving Board member of Scottish rewilding charity Trees for Life and a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Peter will deliver the Cranbrook Memorial Lecture which traditionally opens the Mammal Society’s annual Spring Conference. The Lecture is free to the public and will take place at 7.30pm on 29 March at The Charles Wilson Building at the University of Glasgow.

Professor Fiona Mathews, Chair of the Mammal Society, said “We are delighted to welcome Peter as both speaker and competition judge at this year’s Spring Conference. His obvious passion for nature and conservation shines through all of his work, and he is an inspiration to budding photographers and ecologists alike. A picture can speak a thousand words, and Britain’s wildlife photographers are uniquely able to connect people with not just the beauty of the natural world, but also its fragility.”

Peter will also be judging the Mammal Society’s annual Mammal Photographer of the Year competition alongside photographer and ecologist Brett Lewis and Mammal News editor, Hilary Conlan. An exhibition of the winning photographs will be on display at the University of Glasgow throughout the two day conference. The search for Britain’s best amateur mammal photographer continues until 1 March 2019. For details on how to enter go to https://www.mammal.org.uk/mpoy/.

For more information or to register for the Mammal Society’s Spring Conference go to https://www.mammal.org.uk/events/the-mammal-societys-65th-spring-conference/.

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