Exclusive Preview of Highlands:Scotland’s Wild Heart
Inspired by Highlands: Scotland’s Wildheart by Stephen Moss. With photography from Laurie Campbell
Scoured by ice and weathered by storms, the Scottish Highlands cover twenty thousand square miles of rugged coastline, lochs and mountains. In the new BBC series narrated by Ewan McGregor, this landmark show gives a beautiful portrait of life in his homeland, following the wildlife and people of Scotland’s Wild Heart.
Later this month, we’re very excited to be publishing the sumptuous tie-in book for the series. Because we hope you’ll love it as much as we do, we have put together this exclusive preview of some of the stunning photography from the book and the wonderful creatures featured in the show- Scottish Wildcats, Ospreys and Red Squirrels.
Scottish Wild Cats
Our rarest and most elusive animal mammal, the Scottish Wildcat, has been driven to the edge of extinction over the past century, thanks to the spread of feral cats, with which it interbreeds.
If you are lucky enough to come across any ‘wildcat’ in the highlands, it is crucial to check the key features of a truly wild animal. It should be very large- up to 1m long- and show a distinctive bushy tail with a blunt tip and thick black rings around it.
Osprey’s are one of the most impressive of Scotland’s birds. They are also one of the most distinctive, being brown above and creamy- white below, with a distinctive brown stripe through the eye creating a mask-like appearance, a pale crown and a hooked bill.
Ospreys feed on large fish such as salmon and trout, which they catch by snatching them from the surface of lakes using specially adapted claws. Click here to watch the mesmerising video clip of an Osprey fishing in super-slow motion.
Few animals are so closely associated with the Highland forests as the Red Squirrel, which nests, sleeps and feeds amongst the Scots Pines.
Unfortunately, the more common Grey Squirrels both outcompete their red cousins and carry a disease that, although harmless to Greys, rapidly kills the Reds. Because of this, Red Squirrels in Britain are mostly confined to Northumberland, the Lake District and the Highlands of Scotland, where roughly three-quarters of the entire UK population now lives.