Aerial photography by Richard Cross
My view of the Highlands has changed. Where once I saw wilderness I now see a landscape scarred 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. The understanding of the value of biodiversity is increasing; regeneration, reintroduction and rewilding projects are gaining support and there seems to be an appetite to reexamine our use of the landscape.
Having moved to Scotland 25 years ago to explore the mountains and with a background in documentary photography I 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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