Scottish land use from the air

Aerial photography by Richard Cross

Home

Introduction
The Great Polish Map of Scotland
The Great Polish Map of Scotland

My view of the Highlands has changed. Where once I saw wilderness I now see a landscape marked by human activity, vegetation depleted by grazing, moors drained to rear grouse and swathes of plantations which support little biodiversity. Wind turbines and hydro schemes encroach on designated wild lands, while vehicle tracks push deeper into the hills unchecked by regulation or oversight.

But things are changing. Our understanding of the importance of biodiversity is increasing; regeneration, reintroduction and rewilding projects are gaining support and there is an appetite to reexamine how we use the landscape.

With a background in documentary photography I moved to Scotland to explore the mountains and started photographing landscapes as a way to understand the natural environment. Using a drone to shift perspective these images are part of an ongoing study of the conflicts and contradictions within the Scottish landscape.

For more information, print purchase, image usage or to suggest new locations please get in touch.


Hill Tracks

Cairngorms National Park

Changes to the planning laws have meant tracks for agricultural use don’t need planning permission, as a result an increasing number of tracks have appeared in glens and upland areas. Sometimes they are relatively discreet all terrain (argo) tracks, but in others they are bulldozed roads which significantly alter the character of the area. 

Hill Tracks

Cairngorms National Park

Changes to the planning laws have meant tracks for agricultural use don’t need planning permission, as a result an increasing number of tracks have appeared in glens and upland areas. Sometimes they are relatively discreet all terrain (argo) tracks, but in others they are bulldozed roads which significantly alter the character of the area. 

Regeneration

Cairngorms National Park

Regeneration schemes across the Highlands have given trees and shrubs a change to re-establish against the persistent pressure of grazing. This regrowth encourages biodiversity and helps slow water running off the land, thus reducing the risk of flooding downstream.

Regeneration

Cairngorms National Park

Regeneration schemes across the Highlands have given trees and shrubs a change to re-establish against the persistent pressure of grazing. This regrowth encourages biodiversity and helps slow water running off the land, thus reducing the risk of flooding downstream.

forestry

Cairngorms National Park

Woodland cover in Scotland is around 18% of the land area. Of this about 90% is timber plantations made up of Sitka spruce and other conifers. Biodiversity within plantations is a fraction of that within native forests.

forestry

Cairngorms National Park

Woodland cover in Scotland is around 18% of the land area. Of this about 90% is timber plantations made up of Sitka spruce and other conifers. Biodiversity within plantations is a fraction of that within native forests.

Carrots

Perth & Kinross

The carrot crop is Britain’s major root vegetable, producing over 700,000 tonnes of carrots each year from 9,000 hectares. Each year 22 billion carrot seeds are sown in Britain, producing around 100 carrots per year for every member of the population.

Carrots

Perth & Kinross

The carrot crop is Britain’s major root vegetable, producing over 700,000 tonnes of carrots each year from 9,000 hectares. Each year 22 billion carrot seeds are sown in Britain, producing around 100 carrots per year for every member of the population.