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Thread: Making Scotlands Landscapes - BBC2 last night!!!!!

  1. #1

    Making Scotlands Landscapes - BBC2 last night!!!!!

    Hi All,

    I've read with interest the thread re countryfile last night but wonder how many of you caught BBC2's "Making Scotlands Landscapes" with Proffessor Iain Stewart. I suspect it may have slipped through the radars of those watching countryfile!

    I didnt see all of the programe but alot of it concentrated on the history of game shooting in Scotland after the land owners turfed out the crofters and built large deer forests across the country.

    Whilst it was very interesting I'm not sure of it's accuracy and was concerned with the slant they put on the programme with damage to wildlife that game keeping has had over the years and more importantly they concentrated on Trophy shooting for the wealthy rather then some of the plus sides.

    The programme did look at tourism and again in my view they took the stance this was a negative thing rather then looking at the money that this has brought to the economy of Scotland.

    Proffessor Stewart did partake in an escorted stalk stating he wanted to know how it felt to stalk and kill an animal and I thought the programme was about to become more balanced. However we then witnessed a dry fire stalk onto a hill stag.

    We then heard exploits and extracts of poetry about sportsman who having once experienced the shooting of a beast could not get enough of the kill for a trophy!

    and then with sinister music they entered an estates great hall with thousands of skulls fixed to the walls and ceilings and we were back to the Trophy side of things again..

    No mention of the food and by products that came from all of those animals and the programme later moved on into the creation of the national parks with another negative angle on those that put it in place and for what reasons.

    In my opinion whilst fascinating from a historical point of view (if accurate) this programme was another example of negative images, music and verbage with the potential for negative impressions from joe public.

    I forget the estate in Scotland where sports shooting started with the creation of the first deer lawn but they returned here at the end of the programme with the current Laird who was pleased to state they got things wrong in the passed and have just culled 40,000 beasts returning the estate to 1 animal in a square kilometer. With this they had seen a dramatic rise in owls and various previously rare or non existent animals on the ground..

    This gave another negative impression of the game keeper, estate management and deer management along with that of grouse.

    I'd love to hear the thoughts of others on this programme and David is another possible for a BASC follow up I think.

    url from IPLAYER is:

    Many thanks


  2. #2
    I caught the second half of this and would agree that he was definitely coming from the point of view that Scotland should be a playground for the public and that the evil landowners should have it all taken away from them and given back to the crofters.

  3. #3
    Pathetic liberal political bias, and quite contradictory in some ways. It failed to address in any sort of adequate fashion the reason for the depopulation of the highlands in the later 18th and early 19th centuries. I made this comment on another site:

    "..... interesting programme last night on Scotlands Landscape.

    The clearances etc are something I know a little about, but not enough.

    I thought the programme was badly skewed to blame the damage to the ecosystem on sporting estates. No doubt, things were done between let's say 1850 and 1950 which are very hard to defend today, the persecution of all sorts of predators chief among them.

    However, what was briefly mentioned but quickly passed over, was that the real damage was done in the highlands by the Scottish and English aristocracy in the decades after Colloden. The west highlands were stripped of timber, people, cattle and every other thing that made it a living place. All so the landed classes could farm sheep. People today fail to recognise how important a cash crop wool was to the British economy for 600 - 700 years prior to 1950.

    This is too difficult a subject for prime time TV, so this was ignored and the sporting estates were the focus, so much easier to explain to the urban thick with miniscule attention spans.."

    No doubt there are people here with a better grasp of Scottish history than me who can elaborate further.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  4. #4
    I watched i mate and enjoyed it, but then again anything that can give me the scenery and views of Scotland and the escapism from reality is good by me.

    The Estate you are refering to was Glenfeshie which was in the news a few years ago when the DCS went in and shot hundreds of deer. Although this was never mentioned.

    You have to remember that in the day that they were refering to was when gamekeepers were less inclined to worry about killing everything with a mouth to save grouse, and there weren`t the laws that there are now. I think they are a little better educated nowadays.
    I try not to read too much into these types of programmes cos does your head in if you do.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by csl View Post
    I caught the second half of this and would agree that he was definitely coming from the point of view that Scotland should be a playground for the public and that the evil landowners should have it all taken away from them and given back to the crofters.
    Alex, you are correct up to a point. This is were the contradictions were creeping in. The programmes answer to the evil landlords of course is public access.

    What did public access ever do for the good management of a landscape?

    This is the point where my political opinions come into conflict with my sporting ambitions.

    This land belonged to the people of the gaelic clans collectively, who where royally shafted by their own clan cheiftans after Colloden. These clan leaders took on titles sanctioned by the German royal family in London and then went on to dispossess their own kinsmen. Nice.
    Last edited by Claret_Dabbler; 22-11-2010 at 15:46.

    Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get you......

  6. #6
    I watched it all, but I seem to have seen a different program ?
    The damage to the environment was due to the land owners, not caused by sporting interests, but
    by sheep, sheep that were stocked to the detriment of the land because they were cheep and easy to look after.
    After all the rich landowners needed something to fill the landscape with after the clearances.


  7. #7
    PHEW ! A few diverse interpretations so far. Remember that the sheep came before ther deer - and some of the clergy were amongst those who helped dispossess the natives.

    The BBC - "Biased But Convincing" - put the usual anti-establishment slant on the program and I'm quite used to that now. This is what I've been banging on about in some of my other thread contributions. The whole scene since the Scottish Parliament was formed - and NEW LABOUR got in - has been driving wedges, giving more power to the public for freedom of access - which many of them abuse and doing their best to discredit gamekeeping and stalking and ease the landowner out.
    Some of these rambler types are extremely well balanced - they have a chip on both shoulders.

    If you look deep enough, you'll see that the ultimate aim of the various countryside associations is literaly to run Scotland as a venue for tourism and nullify any wish for anyone to own the land because if the likes of SMH, The John Muir Trust, the RSPB , and the new DCS under the aegis of the SNH succeed, there will be no income from doing so. No deer - the salmon are scarce - and more and more of the best - bottom - land being taken over for trees. Many new plantations are placed in such a way that the deer cannot reach the historical bottom wintering grounds as the fences are placed right across the routes, and in one instance a conifer plantation was fenced only on the bottom and two sides. Many deer zeroed in to this shelter, went down into the trees and were shot by the ranger as tree marauders.

    As for tourism bringing money in. Well - that's another can of worms. The larger towns might profit when the campervans and walker-climbers call in to Tesco for their relatively cheap supplies, but not the local shops in the outlying places.
    It's the local pub which rakes in the coin, not the rest of the indigenous people.

    B&B are being put out of business. The new regulations require hotel-style amenities which the common folks cannot afford, and in order for my wife and I to take in B&B we have had to fork out for a very expensive water filtration system which has just about wiped out two years B&B income.
    So B&B are, in the more remote areas, gradually closing. If you wish to build a house and cater for B&B, you now have to install amenities for the disabled. 'Strange how they all seemed to manage fine before !

    You just have to live it and do so all-year round in order to see the inside story.
    Opinions often differ according to unknown circumstances.

  8. #8
    I saw it too and was taken in by the theme. Overall it felt like a traditional anti-establishment documentary that tried (everso lightly) to restore equilibrium to yet another english bashing, pro Scottish nationalist sympathy exercise.

    The Professor weaved a tale of greed and elitism and then attempted to demonstrate 'how much better things are now' and 'how great it would be to return the land to crofters' and the like and 'isn't my assessment compelling?'. No, not really you bigot, you should be ashamed of yourself hinting that all of Scotland's woes are because of the english. There are far more commom men this side of the border and to think of us all as elitist and in his words 'posh' is just another insult.

    I suppose most jocks think is a nonsense too, it would be nice to see a programme that says 'look at all the new industry the scottish parliament is creating with the big wedge of EU money and extra cash from whitehall' but it is too busy subsidising everything to win and secure votes than actually take some risks and create a valuable sustainable economy.

    Think this programme would have been a lot more enjoyable if it hadn't alienated most of us through bigotry. You only have to change tone a bit...
    Last edited by RickoShay; 22-11-2010 at 17:32. Reason: hadn't finished and typos!
    "There comes in the dead of night a hand of cold steel that plucks the German sentries from their posts"
    WSC 1942

  9. #9
    Hi Ecoman,Hornet 6, Claret Dabbler, waddashot,CSL and RickoShay.

    There are some interesting points of view above and I've witnessed first hand over many years of living and later returning to Scotland as a visitor a number of the rediculous rules and regulations which continue to affect those living within the North of our green and pleasant land.

    It's clearly a can of worms this one.. which is another reason why TV programs and the makers of these programs have a duty of care to ensure a balanced and accurate programme is produced.

    I've contacted David at BASC who has confirmed BASC press team were already looking into this one with a possible view for follow up with the Beeb.

    I look forward to reading more views and opinions on this one and welcome the thoughts of those within the BASC team.

    Many thanks

    Last edited by Robbo25; 22-11-2010 at 17:26.

  10. #10
    I have watched and to be quite honest have really enjoyed the programme.

    The landscape we now have in Scotland is a truncated and much loved [by some] skeleton of it's natural past. It was created by man and ultimately his greed.
    I am in favour and have made my living from sporting estates, however you can not argue that they have altered the landscape of the Highlands. I have worked on ground with very high deer numbers and at the time it was great because you are stuck in your own little world and not looking at the bigger picture but have plenty deer, but step back and look at it and argue that 20+ deer per 100ha is right?????

    I think it is wrong to try and debate or defend actions of others in a quite different social and ecconomic time as the drivers influencing their actions are quite different to the ones we are faced with now. The question we now face is how do we go forward

    I know that we [well me] can be very defensive about our sport , but we haven't always got it right, that doesn't mean we did it for the wrong reasons or we were not following the trend of the time.

    I got my a**** kicked by my first Head keeper for shooting a teenage milk hind, because we didn't do that, we only shot yeld hinds!!!! He thought he was doing the right thing and loved deer, they were his life, but ignorance is not an excuse.

    Even RSPB have admitted that there is value within managed grouse moors, that doesn't take away the fact that they are man made and quite un-natural, stop burning and wait and see what nature does.

    ps The chap at Glen Feshie was Thomas MacDonnel - Factor for the Estate

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