Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Iain Stewart goes home for 'Making Scotland's Landscape'

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Programme 1: Sunday 24th October, BBC One (Only in Scotland)
Watch it now on BBC iPlayer.
BBC Programme Page
It's been less than a week since we won 'Best Series' & 'Earth Science' award at Wildscreen 2010 for 'How Earth Made Us' and already our intrepid presenter Professor Iain Stewart is back with a series close to his heart. This time he's hung up his globe-trotting boots and taken his insatiable passion for geology back home to Scotland. In 5 programmes - Trees, Earth, Sea, Water and Climate - he reveals how every square inch of his homeland has been affected by centuries of human activity.

"You think of Scotland as this great wilderness," he says "it's is sold on this premise that it's a pristine, untouched environment but it's a myth. For as long as humans have been around in Scotland they've been changing the landscape."

I had the honour of traveling deep beneath the Mexican desert to film the Giant Crystal Cave, with Iain, and for a man who has witnessed first hand most of the planets geological marvels he seems to be completely enthralled by the comparably tamed landscape of his own country. His usual high-adrenalin, high-octane performance is somewhat hushed and reverential, and quite a bit more Scottish - it's clear to see that this is a story he's been waiting to tell.

“If you mention Scotland to geologists anywhere in the world..." he says proudly "a kind of slightly misty nostalgia takes them over. Because there is a feeling that somehow the heartland of geology is in Scotland. It’s so small – it’s a tiny bit of land – but it has given so many ideas.”

Unfortunately 'Making Scotland's Landscape' is currently only broadcast on BBC One Scotland but Iain tells me that it will be broadcast across the UK sometime soon. If you're not in Scotland and you can't wait then thanks to the wonders of the BBC iPlayer, you don't have to!
Watch it now on BBC iPlayer.
- Paul

Programme 1: Trees

Iain uncovers how, over thousands of years, the actions of mankind and the climate nearly led to the downfall of Scotland's forests. Only in the 18th century was the extent of the damage realised, and measures taken to re-populate the landscape.

Professor Iain Stewart by Glen Nevis

In the clip below Iain attempts to climb a thirty-five metre Douglas Fir in homage to the tree hunters who travelled the globe searching for exotic species that could be replanted in Scotland.

Audio Walks
The day after the each episode is aired, BBC Radio Scotland listeners will be able to take their own tour with Iain Stewart in a series of downloadable audio walks reflecting on themes or places in the television series. Along with further information on the overall project, the audio walks are available from the BBC Scotland website.

Also available on the BBC Scotland website is a special online rephotography project. This features classic archive shots from across the country and invites members of the public to update them to mark the changing landscapes.

1 comment:

  1. Heard a rumour that BBC2 may air Making Scotland's Landscape in a 5-week run from mid November. Will try to confirm. If that's the case, then they'll probably push Men of Rock to early 2011.