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Conservation & Photography Workshop
Since the 1970s, more than 40% of species in the UK have experienced severe declines. With our native wildlife at risk, conservation efforts across Great Britain and Northern Ireland have been ramping up.
Scotland has been leading the way, from implementing successful landscape-scale restoration projects in the Highlands to reintroducing the beavers back to Scotland for the first time in 400 years.
On this special workshop, we’ll spend 5 days in the Scottish Highlands, exploring Caledonian pine forests, learning about the Rewilding Scotland project, as well as actively contributing to these efforts. We'll be planting saplings in our own dedicated grove, become immersed in the Highlands, photograph native wildlife, and get those all important ‘portfolio’ shots.
The group size is limited to just 6 people. By keeping group sizes small, we’ll ensure wildlife isn’t disturbed — nature always comes first. It also makes the experience far more exclusive, avoiding the mini bus-style tours
This workshop will see conservation coupled with wildlife photography
From physically planting your own sapling through to learning from the UK’s leading conservationists, this workshop will leave you inspired, motivated, and eager to teach others. Moreover, this’ll be coupled up with capturing those all-important conservation stories with your camera, building an image-led narrative that’ll allow you to enhance your story telling.
We'll also delve into active conservation projects, focusing on red squirrel translocation projects, the return of beavers, conserving the Scottish wildcat, and ambitious plans to re-introduce the European lynx. You'll then have the chance to photograph some of these flagship species both on photo-walks, as well as in carefully located, specialist hides where you'll receive personal tuition.
It's the perfect opportunity to refine your photography skills and add those sought after shots to your portfolio.
A unique photographic and educational experience
Limited to just six spaces, this will enable us to work seamlessly as a team when we're planting new trees, and allow us to split into smaller groups when photographing wildlife from hides requires us to be quiet and unobtrusive.
We'll be providing close guidance throughout the trip. From personal photographic tuition and Lightroom editing flows, to advice on approaching wildlife, and workshops on improving your social media strategy.
Our base will be a beautiful, converted stable, nestled in the Scottish Highlands and within walking distance of an RSPB reserve. The accommodation is completely self-catered, meaning we’re able to be flexible around the wildlife and our schedule. All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners will be provided.
Each evening we’ll gather around the wood-burning fire, where you’ll receive interactive presentations on conservation topics, photographic techniques, and image post-processing.
Leading the Workshop...
Lara Jackson (me!)
Having completed a masters in wildlife conservation, my work has taken me from lemurs in the dry forests of Madagascar, to rhinos in the African bush and dolphins living off the coast of Zanzibar. Whilst my research trips have predominantly been in Africa, I spent most of my childhood getting ‘down and dirty’ with British wildlife and I'm incredibly passionate about our native species.
I'll be chatting all things conservation; everything from invasive species, hybridisation, hunting and the persecution of wildlife, to reintroduction & translocation projects.
I'm so excited to share the magic of Scotland with you all.
George is an award-winning wildlife photographer hailing from Dorset, where his love with the natural world started. Assignments have taken him from the rainforests of the Congo Basin, to the Arctic tundra of Canada walking with polar bears.
His greatest passion is teaching, sharing his energy and enthusiasm with participants. Full immersion comes with every workshop, where George assists guests in grabbing those 'portfolio' shots, growing their appreciation of nature, and coming away more inspired than ever.
See some of his work here!
We'll meet you at 10am in Edinburgh before driving up to the Scottish Highlands, stopping at view points along the way. Once we arrive at our accommodation, you'll have time to settle in and explore the surrounding environment before receiving a presentation on what to expect in the week ahead. We'll relax in the evening, have dinner and sit around the wood burner, ready for our first full day.
Our first day is all about Rewilding Scotland. We'll receive fascinating talks from those on the frontline of rewilding efforts, learn about the importance of Caledonian pine forests and why rewilding is key to reversing biodiversity loss. We'll spend time at the nursery where the seedlings are nurtured, before getting our hands dirty and planting trees of our own. After we’ve planted our trees (with your own personal dedication), we’ll explore the surrounding forests for photographic opportunities.
In the evening, we'll have a workshop on rewilding, and host a post-processing session.
In the morning, we'll be joined by conservationists working on vitally important projects in the Scottish Highlands. We'll hear about red squirrel translocation projects, the successful beaver reintroduction programmes, and ambitious plans to re-introduce the lynx to Scotland.
In the afternoon, we'll stay on site and explore the forests that offer a plethora of flora and fauna to photograph. In the evening, we'll gain an in-depth understanding of the problems facing Scottish wildcats, learning about their habitat, and how to capture those ‘portfolio’ shots.
Days 4 & 5
Photography, photography, photography! You'll have the opportunity to get close to some of these flagship species in carefully located hides, specially designed for photographers. We'll split into two groups so we can be quiet and unobtrusive. You'll have the chance to experiment with your composition, try different set-ups and explore your personal photographic style. We'll be tutoring the entire time, helping you recognise and develop that said personal style. In the evenings, we'll sit down for some image post-processing.
On our last morning, we'll head back to Edinburgh, stopping at Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, view points, and the beautiful Loch Leven where we'll search for some red squirrels. Once we arrive in Edinburgh, we'll say our goodbyes and you'll have the evening to yourself, to either stay overnight or leave that evening.
There are frequent trains and international flights to Edinburgh, removing the need for driving or car hire. If you wanted to spend a few extra days in the magical land of Scotland, Edinburgh is truly beautiful and offers some spectacular city & nature-based activities.We're happy to give advice and guidance on this.
5 nights full board accommodation (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Personal photographic tuition
All activities (photographic hides, tree planting, lectures)
In-camp workshops and sessions
All transport from pick-up in Edinburgh, to drop-off in Edinburgh
What's Not Included!
Domestic travel costs
Any overnight accommodation in Edinburgh
Alcohol and snacks
Save The Date!
EXACT DATE TBC: March/April 2022
Group Size: Maximum of 6 participants per group.
Accommodation: Beautiful, converted Stable nestled in the Scottish highlands and within walking distance from an RSPB reserve.
Room Occupancy: Shared or single available. First come, first served.
Price: £1,900 per person
Apply: Form at bottom of page!
We are Covid-19 Secure
When booking workshops, your feeling should be of excitement and anticipation, not worry and anxiety of the unknown. With all our workshops, your money and place is protected. As these are turbulent times, we want to be completely clear and transparent on the process, putting your mind at ease.
To secure your place, a deposit of 50% is required. Up until 60 days before travel, should you decide to cancel, this is fully refundable. Beyond that, the remaining 50% would then be payable. At this point, your payment is now non-refundable but still fully protected.
Should COVID-19 laws mean travel is not possible, we’ll simply postpone and move to a future date, at no extra charge. We’ll decide on that future date as a collective group.
Your safety and welfare is always of highest concern, now more than ever. We're working with trusted accommodation suppliers who deep clean before and after each group, provide plenty of sanitiser, and have “fallow weeks” before our arrival. Meaning, no other guests would’ve stayed the accommodation before us.
That said, we’re travelling as a group, and a mix of couples/solo travellers. The impetus will be on yourself, as a traveller, to report any COVID-19 symptoms before departure. Should you test positive, your trip will be postponed to future date.
Your trip will always be protected, no matter what.
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After that? Well, the adventure begins!