Celebrating Rewilding in the Cairngorms

4 March 2020
Two men with cameras on tripods

Marine & Natural History Photography students have captured the awesome beauty of the rewilding Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland.

Glenfeshie is 17,000 hectares of ancient Caledonian pine forest. It was previously managed as a traditional deer forest, but the high numbers of deer grazed most of the young tree saplings, and the forest rapidly disappeared. In 2004, new owners and the Deer Commission for Scotland took action, implementing a programme to reduce deer numbers and, as a result, the forest is bouncing back.

Senior Lecturer, Anna Roberts and Associate Lecturer, Neil Aldridge not only teach the students, but also directed the filming and editing.

Anna tells us, "We wanted to run this trip as a crew on a real shoot, with a real outcome. This means that students not only got invaluable field time with Neil and I on hand to guide them, but also learnt how to plan, shoot and edit to a specific brief and style. The students were tasked with making a film that creates an exciting and inspiring vision of what a rewilded Cairngorms landscape looks and feels like. The film was made for Scotland the Big Picture, an organisation who work to amplify the case for a wilder Scotland, so the students have the great satisfaction of knowing the film will be used to help support biodiversity and the natural world."

"As you can see from the students' film, the magnificent Glenfeshie forest is being restored - the first step in the rewilding process. With their forest habitat regenerating, all the wonderful wildlife then find their way back home – red squirrels, osprey, beavers, hares, and a huge diversity of invertebrates like the vital wood ants who keep the forest healthy and feed the many birds and bats.

"It's a wonderful location for students to experience a challenging environment for film and photography, with an important purpose and a story that restores hope along with the trees. If anybody is inspired by the film please go to the Scotland the Big Picture website to support their work and the rewilding movement."