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Scotland’s largest land mammal is also one of its most contentious. Photographer and Director of SCOTLAND: The Big Picture, Peter Cairns, explores the ecological and cultural divide over the Monarch of the Glen.
My eye is drawn by the tiny green-headed pines poking their heads nervously above the heather, like prey wary of predator. It’s not that pines are unusual in Scotland but young pines, or at least those growing in such profusion, are conspicuous in a wider landscape largely bereft of young trees. These tentative pioneers are the building blocks for a future forest. Secreted away in the southwestern corner of the Cairngorms, the rampaging waters of the River Feshie carve an ever-shifting channel, dynamic and unlawful, with no respect for property or boundaries. Geriatric trees, partly submerged in sand and gravel,…