Changing state of rural Scotland put in sharp focus

After 20 years as a soldier, author Jamie Blackett arrives home in Dumfries and Galloway ready to settle into rural life with his young family.

However, he finds the countryside he grew up in is very much changed and must now learn to adapt to the new order.

Blackett reflects back to his childhood, offering a glimpse of a simpler and, in some cases, happier time.

Blackett’s journey highlights the struggles of a man attempting to restore a small Scottish farming and sporting estate while navigating an increasing number of obstacles laid down by the government, the media and educational establishments.

Although presented in gentle language, Blackett provides a passionate plea that the livelihoods dependent on the Scottish countryside are as important as the growing generation of urbanites focused predominantly on the tech and service industries.

An enlightening read for everyone from the true country bumpkins to the modern city slicker.

Red Rag To a Bull, by Jamie Blackett, published by Quiller, £20.

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