Scottish land use from the air

Aerial photography by Richard Cross

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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.

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