An alternative look at Highland land reform

Prominent land reformer Jim Hunter has produced a compelling account of the modern-day Highlands.

Here, there is a battle between environmentalists’ attempts to conserve the nature and landscapes, and the Highlanders themselves trying to preserve their way of life and their culture.

This thought-provoking read considers both viewpoints: the Highlanders feel they have a better environmental awareness than most, especially when it comes to their own land; while the conservationists are determined not to lose one of the most majestic natural landscapes in the world.

Hunter suggests that the land they’re trying to protect is based on a 19th-century version of the Highlands that we have a romantic tendency to view as some sort of utopia.

Going beyond merely providing both sides of the argument, Hunter also provides what he thinks would be the solution – which involves radical changes in land usage and repopulating some of the empty glens.

On the Other Side of Sorrow, by James Hunter, published by Birlinn, £12.99.

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