Scotland: A Rewilding Journey forces you to take a deeper and often more uncomfortable look at the state of the Scottish landscape and the wounds we humans have inflicted upon it and the once abundant wildlife who call it home, or once did.
This detailed exploration of the true meaning of ‘rewilding’ brings the consequences of human use and misuse to light and encourages readers to reconsider their own relationship with nature.
The stunning wildlife photography, along with succinct and easy to read text, mean that engaging with the book is both easy and pleasurable.
There are lots of infographics, which offer some surprising and often heartbreaking statistics (such as the reality that from 1991-2014, breeding seabirds have decreased in population by 44%).
More than ever, people are beginning to wake up to the catastrophic impact man has had on both land and seas, a plight most significantly highlighted in recent years by the BBC’s Blue Planet 2, and furthermore by David Attenborough’s stark warning to the UN climate change summit that ‘the collapse of civilisation and the natural world is on the horizon’.
While much of the book makes for an unsettling read, there is also an emphasis on the work being done to save Scotland’s wildlife, trees and other natural wonders.
Once home to aurochs, wolves, bears, elk and lynxes, this book explores what Scotland once was, what it has become and what it could be in the future depending on our course of action.
It is not all doom and gloom, however. Susan Wright and Peter Cairns also examine the ways in which various groups and organisations are fighting to save particular species of life on land and in our surrounding waters, offering the reader glimmers of hope for the future.
This book appears to extend a challenge to the people of Scotland by way of asking them to rethink their position in the natural world and focuses on the point that we should be accommodating to it rather than the other way around.
Well researched and well written, this is a wonderfully informative read for anyone interested in nature or keen to learn more.
Scotland: A Rewilding Journey, by Susan Wright and Peter Cairns, published by Scotland: The Big Picture, £25.