Regeneration - Andrew Painting - July 2023
Regeneration is the story of the successful rescue of a wild land, Mar Lodge Estate in the highlands of Scotland, as told by an ecologist at the heart of it, Andrew Painting.
In 1995 the National Trust for Scotland acquired Mar Lodge Estate in the heart of the Cairngorms. Home to over 5,000 species, this vast expanse of Caledonian woodlands, subarctic mountains, bogs, moors, roaring burns and frozen lochs could be a place where environmental conservation and Highland field sports would exist in harmony. The only problem was that due to centuries of abuse by human hands, the ancient Caledonian pinewoods were dying, and it would take radical measures to save them.
Now, after 25 years of extremely hard work, the pinewoods, bogs, moors and mountains are returning to their former glory thanks to the people who are quietly working to undo the wrongs of the past and the myriad creatures which inspire them to do so.
Regeneration tackles the tension that arise, such as raptor persecution, deer management and rewilding and asks bigger questions about the nature of conservation itself: what do we see when we look at our wild places? What should we see?