Andrew O’Donnell and Mark Taylor (Photo: BBC Scotland)
Andrew O’Donnell and Mark Taylor (Photo: BBC Scotland)

Roaming in the Wild in a celebration of Scotland

A celebration of Scotland’s stunning great outdoors is coming to our screens in a new six-part TV series.

Wildlife filmmaker Andrew O’Donnell and his pal Mark Taylor’s TV adventures in the wilds of Scotland are returning for second series of Roaming in the Wild.

A first series of Roaming in the Wild grew out of short online pieces Andrew made for BBC Scotland’s The Social. The first three-part run featured Andrew and Mark’s travels across Rannoch Moor, Lochaber and across the north of Scotland from John O’Groats to Cape Wrath.

For the second series, the run has doubled and the two friends will be taking an amble across the country, camping and walking and canoeing but all at a leisurely pace. This is an offbeat take on going offgrid and simply enjoying the experience, walking, camping and canoeing.

Their travels in this new series will include the Borders, Assynt, Cairngorms, Loch Shiel, and Loch Ness, starting in the first episode with a bit more of an urban foray down the River Kelvin to Glasgow.

Roaming in the Wild is largely filmed, produced and edited by the duo, with Andrew also providing the music as Beluga Lagoon.

Andrew O’Donnell and Mark Taylor (Photo: BBC Scotland)

Andrew said: ‘We both grew up in Lennoxtown, by the Campsie hills. Mark and me met at our baby sitters when we were kids and then later, just by coincidence, went on to work in the same country house hotel.

‘Mark now helps me run a wildlife production company. Our adventures started when we were filming wildlife and were forced to live in remote locations whilst trying to film our subjects.’

Mark added: ‘Roaming in the Wild has been the perfect excuse to get out and about in amongst some of the wonderous and distinctive landscapes this country has to offer.

‘By attempting to navigate across these environments through ever changing ways and means leaves you with a unique experience and perspective each time.

‘And it’s good for your head. You can’t be weighed down by the regular trivialities of life when all the superficial distractions are taken away and all you’re concerned about is the blisters on your hands and what’s for dinner.

‘To be able to take on these adventures with your pal, an experienced outdoorsman like Andrew, who’s always got your back and keeps this enthusiastic amateur right is the bonus any would be wanderer craves.’

Locations in season two include:

Kelvin – The journey begins at the foot of the Campsie Fells, where one of the tributaries of the River Kelvin is born. Mark and Andrew navigate tricky water before joining the River Kelvin and tackling the urban side of things as the river winds its way through the centre of Glasgow.

Borders – From the Moffat Hills, down to the border itself. Mark and Andrew set out on an adventure which incorporates the hills and rivers of the Scottish Borders.

Assynt – Mark and Andrew go hunting for northern lights in the north of Scotland. Their dreams are soon crushed when the weather takes a turn and they are forced into a plan B.

Wildlife filmmaker Andrew O’Donnell and his pal Mark Taylor camping on a hill in the first series (Photo: BBC Scotland)

Cairngorms – Mark and Andrew go on a winter adventure into the heart of Cairngorms. Spending four days above the snowline and sharing company with some of the specialist wildlife. It’s ski touring trip to remember for years to come.

Loch Shiel – Mark and Andrew travel from fresh water to salt water on a coastal sea kayak expedition, firstly navigating the great Loch Shiel, before making their way down the river and onto the coast, A true taste of the west coast of Scotland and who knows what wildlife they will see along the way!

Loch Ness – On a newly refurbished peddle boat, Mark and Andrew head to one of the largest lochs in Scotland to see how far their new vessel will go.

Head of BBC Scotland Multiplatform Productions Anthony Browne said: ‘Roaming in the Wild has been a great story for BBC Scotland. Since 2016, Andrew has been a regular on BBC The Social creating some off-beat natural history stories which have really connected with our audiences.

‘It’s brilliant to see how we’ve been able to develop and work with Andrew and Mark to produce this beautiful series for the BBC Scotland channel. Andrew does a huge amount of work on the series, from filming to soundtrack and his love of nature comes through in every episode, I never fail to have a smile on my face when I watch them in action.’

Roaming in the Wild returns on Thursday, September 23, on BBC Scotland from 8–8.30pm.