Getting under the skin of a Scottish pinewood, tuning into its rhythms and understanding how its engine works, requires an investment in time and in 2013 I made that investment, producing my first self-published book. Scotland's Great Wood, the Caledonian Pine Forest, is not just aesthetically beautiful, it’s not just a place that harbours some of the UK’s most charismatic and mystical species, it’s a place of great symbolism. With just fragments of Scotland’s original forest left, the Great Wood, Caledonia, symbolises both the destruction that so characterises our historical relationship with nature, but more recently, our capacity to put right the wrongs of the past.
My work in the Great Wood continues in the hope of contributing to a more expansive, better connected forest network across Scotland. Recent initiatives such as Cairngorms Connect in the western Cairngorms are beginning to unify a vision for Scotland which will see an expanded and better connected forest network which serves both wildlife and people.
All images ©Peter Cairns