Walking with Wildlife: a year on a Scottish estate by Alan Stewart

Brown hare in relaxed pose

Whitethroat singing on a hawthorn

Snipe on the edge of a bog

Smaller back footprint of badger on top of larger front footprint

Goosander with brood on the River Earn

Grey wagtail feeding chick at the side of the River Earn

In the early summer of 2018 I was relaxing in the evening with a glass of red wine along with my wife, Jan, and daughter Janet. Janet asked if I had any more books planned, but I had considered myself retired from writing. As it turned out she persuaded me to write a further two books since that conversation, of which this is the second.

Janet in particular had enjoyed my book that related to wildlife encounters on my walks on a Highland Perthshire estate and thought I should write a similar one relating to another estate. We discussed possible estates but one was most definitely at the head of the list: Dupplin Estate, which lies just to the west of Peth.

Dupplin Estate was ideal for a number of reasons, not least that its boundary to the north is just over a mile from house. I had spent many years of my life on Dupplin Estate: my early years with my lifelong friends Jimmy Robb at East Lamberkin Farm and Gerry Oliphant at Cairnie Toll Cottages, plus about ten years trapping rabbits over the whole estate in the 1970s and early 1980s. I also attended a few times as a beater on pheasant shooting days with a variety of headkeepers. I knew the 13,000 acres of the estate intimately and, even though I had probably seen very little of the estate since the mid-1990s, Dupplin was ideal for the purpose of book, giving me the chance to compare the farming, forestry and wildlife of the estate over the course of nearly 60 years. Crucially, given my background of policing, I knew that the estate was run within the law and that I would certainly not be coming across poisoned raptors or illegally-set traps.

In late July 2018 I met with the factor, Alexander Dewar, who is the son of the estate owner, Lord Forteviot, and outlined my plans to him. He was immediately supportive and gave me the run of the estate for the purposes of gathering material for the proposed book. Over the course of the year I liaised on a regular basis with Stewart, the sole gamekeeper for the estate, with Bill, the retired gamekeeper and with John, the farm manager.

My series of walks over the estate began in mid-August, each visit covering approximately five miles, and normally running from about 8.00 am until midday. The estate is exceptionally varied, comprising ancient woodlands, new woodland areas of native trees, mature conifer forests, farmland with crops and livestock, a river, two lochs, several ponds, some wild boggy areas and dozens of game/wild bird crops including about ten acres of quinoa, which songbirds just love. The contrasting habitats support a magnificent variety of birds and mammals.

During my walks I like to stop regularly and sit quietly, allowing wildlife to come to me. This is unfortunately not so practical when everything is wet and I often found myself standing rather than sitting, with my back against the trunk of a tree. It is amazing how often animals accept a lone person sitting down quietly or even walking slowly. I regularly got close to wildlife that in most circumstances are very wary of humans, especially roe deer and brown hares. In return, when I saw them and they did not see me, I tried when I was finished observing them, to sneak off and leave them undisturbed.

I thoroughly enjoyed my year of walking with wildlife. I would like to think that you, if reading the book, can imagine to some degree that you are walking with me. For a welcome change this is a real good news story from an estate. Though the estate is in Scotland I am sure there will be some estates elsewhere in the British Isles that are equally good for habitat and wildlife. For the owners or managers of the many that fail to come up to Dupplin’s standards they may become enlightened by reading this book.

Walking with Wildlife: a year on a Scottish estate. (Thirsty Books, Edinburgh. £15 plus £2.35 p&p).  Signed copies available from me now.   Contact me on wildlifedetective@gmail.com

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Horrendous killing spree by Borders gamekeeper – some thoughts.

Buzzard, shot and buried by a gamekeeper in Perthshire who was later convicted.

Buzzard shot and buried by Perthshire gamekeeper, who was later convicted.

The x-ray of the buzzard (carried out at Dundee Airport).

Buzzard shot with a rifle by a Perthshire gamekeeper, who was later convicted.

Law abiding shooters and gamekeepers must be totally disgusted at the litany of wildlife crime reported in the media and on social media over the past month. The latest is a plea of guilty to a long list of wildlife crimes by Alan Wilson, the gamekeeper for Longformacus Estate in the Scottish Borders. The case has been ongoing in the court since 2017 and arose from the initial investigation in 2016 by the League against Cruel Sports, who had been tipped off by a walker of snares being set on the estate. The LACS research officer attended at the estate and found snares and a stink pit with dead animals. It is not clear at this stage where the snares were set and if they were illegal but they may well have been set on a fence around the stink pit, which would attract foxes. Snares set on a fence make it likely in most cases that any animal caught will be fully or partially suspended, which is an offence in Scotland.

The LACS research officer returned in 2017 and found the carcass of a badger and some birds, the species of which is not identified in the news report. Neither is it reported whether the dead badger was in the stink pit. It seems that around this point the police and SSPCA were informed of the situation.

In June 2017 Police Scotland led a multi-agency investigation into the incidents, along with SSPCA, RSPB Investigations staff and others. During the search, evidence was found that two goshawks had been shot and that three buzzards, three badgers and an otter had also been killed. Wilson pleaded guilty to killing them, and also to charges of using illegal snares and the possession of two bottles of carbofuran. He pleaded not guilty to other charges, these pleas being accepted by the Crown.

This is a horrendous killing spree. Further, these are the only protected species for which charges could be proved over the course of a year or so. The length of time that Wilson has been a gamekeeper is not stated in the report but considering that he is 60 years old, it is likely that he has been gamekeeping for some time. If these are the protected species found to have been killed over a year how many remain undiscovered that were killed illegally over that period. Multiply that by the years that Wilson has been a gamekeeper and it can be imagined how he has deprived the Scottish countryside of protected and sometimes rare species.

So what might the sheriff at Jedburgh Sheriff Court impose as a penalty. I doubt if he will be able to take into account a previous conviction. This was a conviction in 2018 under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 for keeping an eagle owl in filthy conditions. This conviction took place subsequent to the report by Police Scotland to the procurator fiscal for the 2017 wildlife crimes so is unlikely to be made known to the court.

Options are a fine, imprisonment or a community penalty as a direct alternative to imprisonment. I would doubt that the sheriff will consider a fine to be appropriate. This is one of the most serious wildlife crimes to come before a sheriff for sentencing that I can remember. It includes the killing of two Schedule 1 birds, goshawks; an otter, which is a mammal with the highest protection under the Conservation (Natural Habitats etc) Regulations 1994; and not just a buzzard and a badger but three of each. In addition, in times when the use of deadly pesticides to kill wildlife is becoming less common, and after an amnesty period, Wilson had two containers of this banned substance. Lastly comes the snaring offences, though not just one but 23. There has been no more deserving case for a court to make an example of a convicted person by imposing a sentence of imprisonment. Wilson’s defence solicitor may well have had this in mind with advice to plead guilty and thus have the possibility of a sentence of imprisonment reduced for avoiding a trial.

Had this case been a few years hence the imprisonment available to courts under consideration by the Scottish Government might be 5 years. In 2015, in Scotland, an independent review conducted by Professor Mark Poustie found the current laws around wildlife crime may not be serving as a sufficient deterrent, while punishments fail to reflect the serious nature of some crimes. He recommended that for serious wildlife crimes – and they don’t come much more serious than this – penalties be increased to a maximum of 5 years imprisonment or an unlimited fine. This is being consulted on right now and hopefully the Scottish Government, taking account of Professor Poustie’s recommendations plus the recent upsurge in wildlife crime, will agree to these increased penalties.

To end on a note of fairness, since the snaring legislation in Scotland was improved substantially in 2010 under the Snares (Scotland) Order and in 2011 under the Wildlife and Environment (Scotland) Act, most of those who use snares have played by the rules. The level of wildlife crime discussed here, plus the recent golden eagles enigma and the trapping of a hen harrier may yet have disastrous consequences for those who participate in shooting. All of this could have been avoided if the criminal gamekeepers, sporting agents and landowners in their midst had been outed by law-abiding shooters and their respective organisations.

I am not aware of the full circumstances of the start of this investigation but reading the information that is available I can’t help thinking that LACS, instead of embarking on their own in what may well have been a wildlife crime investigation, had passed the information to the police at the outset and had a wildlife crime officer accompany the LACS staff member. Maybe lessons will be learnt from this.

We now await with interest the penalty handed out to Wilson and (hopefully) a report by Police Scotland to the procurator fiscal in regard to vicarious liability.

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Yet more criminal activity on driven grouse moors. Some options for change.

Hen harrier chicks about to be ringed

Bogland preserved for wildlife on Perthshire estate

In the past few weeks on driven grouse moors in Scotland we have had a satellite-tagged hen harrier caught in a Fenn trap, two satellite-tagged golden eagles on the same estate and on the same day where the signals from the sat-tags suddenly stopped despite having been working perfectly well up until then. Now we have news of a male hen harrier caught in a Fenn trap near to a harrier nest on Leadhills Estate in South Lanarkshire, the female from the nest ‘missing’ and a Fenn trap set at the nest alongside two harrier eggs. Despite the harrier in this case being taken into the care of the SSPCA and some sterling treatment by specialist vet Romain Pizzi the bird in the end had to be euthanised.

Seven weeks after the discovery, Police Scotland investigating the crime led a multi-agency search. I’m not sure why the seven-week delay, unless a result on DNA tests on the traps was awaited, but I can’t criticise without knowing the full circumstances.

It is not surprising that no evidence was found to link the setting of the traps to any individual, but circumstantial evidence and a previous history of the discovery of up to 70 earlier wildlife crimes found on the estate over the past 20 years would suggest to any rational person that the incidents are linked to grouse production. Despite the attempts of a few individuals to deflect blame away from gamekeeping I personally have no doubt that this is where the blame lies. Intensively managed driven grouse moors like this may have up to seven or eight gamekeepers, probably a sporting manager and a sporting tenant. Will all or any of them be to blame or could it be some mystery person going around the countryside unseen, with a bag of Fenn traps, a hidden agenda and with the expertise to set a trap at any hen harrier nest encountered?

There is no doubt that those involved in driven grouse shooting are well aware that under present legislation the police are unlikely to get a case to court, especially against someone higher up the chain of command. So what can change to assist in convicting or at least deterring the criminals?

If we rely on convictions the police must have more scope under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000 – RIP(S)A – to enter estate land to gather evidence. This would mean increasing the penalty for all or certain wildlife crimes to at least 3 years imprisonment so that incident like this come into the official category of serious crime.

To assist with the identification of those illegally setting traps, the traps could have a number or mark issued by the police or by SNH to the user of the trap, as is the case with snares. This is certainly not foolproof but it could be a step forward, especially if spot checks could be made.

Even with these changes detection and conviction rates would be low. The answer lies with a suite of sanctions.

Better use could be made of the removal of the right to use general licences, even though this is a minor sanction. I hope this is being considered as we speak in the case of this estate.

Better use could also be made of the clawback of single farm payments, though I’ve no idea if in this instance a payment is being made to the estate.

With only a few weeks to go (hopefully) to the submission to the Scottish Government of Professor Werritty’s report on grouse moors we are as well to have the patience to await its findings. I assume that the Scottish Government will already have a flavour of the report content, in particular the issue of the licensing of grouse moors. I cannot see the licensing of grouse moors being avoided. Poisoning of wildlife has maybe lessened but there has been no let-up in the illegal shooting or trapping of raptors; it has simply been a change of tactics. If the raptor persecution incidents being investigated by the police over the past few weeks have not already convinced the Scottish Government that nothing has changed and of the need to licence grouse moors (or something even stronger) then I feel the public has been betrayed.

It should be mandatory for each estate to nominate the person ultimately responsible for the estate so that there can be no escaping vicarious liability should the police and prosecutors require to go down that road.

In the case of an estate losing the licence to shoot grouse and to manage moorland for grouse shooting, if the estate is under the control of a sporting agent who is also sporting agent for another or other estates in Scotland, then these estates should also lose their licence.

Beyond these sanctions it should be mandatory for estates involved in shooting of any kind to demonstrate that they are improving the habitat for the wildlife that is, or should, be there. I’m working with an extensive low-ground estate just now that demonstrates this in no small measure.

I think that any reasonable person would now agree that the time for sitting round a table to reach a compromise has long past and decisive action by the Scottish Government is required. I have long been an advocate of SNP but if we are let down on this then they would no longer either have my confidence or vote.

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The disappearance of two sat-tagged golden eagles

Alan Stewart with the poisoned golden eagle Alma in 2009

For those who are unaware, it was announced today that on the morning of 18th April two satellite-tagged golden eagles vanished within hours of each other on a grouse moor in Perthshire. The estate on which they were last located through the sat-tagging data is named as Auchnafree Estate.

So what could have happened to them? Might they have died of natural causes. Two young and apparently healthy golden eagles don’t normally die on the same date and in the same place. But what if they did. Satellite tags keep transmitting after its host bird dies. The signal would indicate that the bird was on the ground and stationary and would give an accurate grid reference to within a few yards of the bird. The signal may even have given more information than this. In any case those responsible for monitoring the signal would know that something was wrong, especially if the signals suddenly stopped as so many have done in the recent past despite the tags having been working perfectly well up to that point. All of this follows a sinister pattern and those monitoring the signals (or lack thereof) would suspect that the birds had been removed. The police would then be contacted.

A thorough search for the birds was reported as having been carried out by Police Scotland, National Wildlife Crime Unit and RSPB Scotland Investigations. If the birds had still been at their last location as transmitted by the tag, the recovery would be straightforward. When I went to recover the poisoned golden eagle Alma from Millden Estate in Glenesk in Angus in 2009 the reference given by the tag led us straight to the bird. Since in this case the birds were no longer at their last reference point it was hardly surprising that no trace was found of either of the golden eagles. Had the two tags fallen from the birds by some remarkable coincidence the result would have been the same.

It was even more suspicious that the last reference point of one of the golden eagles was at a turning point of a hill track on the estate, and it is also known that at that time the eagle was at ‘ground level’ – in other words not in the air – for six minutes before the signal disappeared. Had it been put in a vehicle and removed? I doubt that taking all these circumstances into account anyone could argue that the disappearance of the two golden eagles was in any way through a natural death.

These circumstances suggest to me that this is a crime, indeed two crimes, and I am sure that the police will record it as such based on circumstantial and sat-tag evidence. But It is highly unlikely, given the complete absence of information coming forward from the game management community, that anyone will be convicted or even charged. Nevertheless the police will continue their investigation.

What lines might they follow? Looking at intelligence held on the Scottish Intelligence Database and by the NWCU is always the starting point. Is there intelligence showing that related incidents have taken place in that area, on that estate or by any named individual? Intelligence, of course, cannot convict anyone; it needs to be converted to evidence, but it is a good start and I bet that the officer in charge of the case already has one or maybe even two likely suspects.

Grouse moors are always well guarded by the gamekeepers and not much can move on the estate without them being aware. If a vehicle was involved in picking up or disposing of the birds who might have access with a vehicle? This is especially interesting in the case of Auchnafree Estate as it is ‘landlocked’ and not connected by any public road. Can any conclusions be drawn from that? Would an eagle-sized bird placed in a vehicle or any receptacle leave any DNA traces? That possibility will have been considered.

How did the birds die, always a difficult question to answer in the absence of the bodies, (yet people have been convicted of the murder of humans without the body being found). Options are shooting, trapping or poisoning. My guess, because there are two victims and their deaths are closely related in time and location, would be poisoning. There may have been evidence found of how the birds died during the search, but the police would be keeping that under their hat meantime.

It is early days but so far the only comment I have seen from the gamkeeping community is a press release from the Scottish Gamekeepers’ Association. Did they roundly condemn the killing of two of Scotland’s golden eagles? Did they say that it looks highly suspicious and if it was the work of a gamekeeper he is a disgrace to the name of gamekeeping? Did they ask their members to report any suspected killing of birds of prey to the police? Did they say to their members please stop this as it will ultimately ruin all our occupations?

No, none of those.  They put out a mealy-mouthed statement that they will expel members who commit wildlife offences and state that ‘We understand, despite extensive and thorough searches by the Police, that no evidence of a wildlife crime was discovered on the land in question.’ Is that not a signal to criminals involved in raptor persecution to just keep doing more of the same? They also launched a Parliamentary petition calling for independent monitoring of satellite tags fitted to birds of prey as they have doubts on the accuracy of sat-tag data. If they knew a bit more about the ownership of sat-tag data and if they had been at a recent conference on sat-tagging hosted by Scottish Natural Heritage at Battleby they would have no need to petition for independent monitoring and could put their efforts into putting an end to crime committed against protected species on grouse moors.  

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Wildlife and the Law: New edition available from 12 June 2019.

When I had the first edition of Wildlife and the Law published in 2012 I didn’t expect that all 500 copies printed would be sold. Nevertheless that was the case, so in early 2019 I was keen to update the book to incorporate new legislation since 2012 and partly renew the photographs.

As they did with the first edition, PAW Scotland kindly agreed to help to fund publication, since this remains the only book in Scotland looking at the practical application of wildlife law. PAW Scotland’s agreement meant that I could get to work on the new edition. Unfortunately this blog suffered with an absence of new posts since, as well as updating Wildlife and the Law I was – and still am – carrying out a wildlife survey of a large estate in Perthshire as well as writing chapters and taking photographs for a book on my regular and exciting walks on the estate (this should be published in the autumn.)

The new edition of Wildlife and the Law, recognising, reporting and investigating wildlife crime in Scotland, is edited and published by Thirsty Books, Edinburgh. Due to PAW Scotland subsidising the cost, the price remains at £10. It is due back from the Glasgow printer on 12th June. Additional features in the book include:

  • The role of the NWCU
  • The many changes in general licences
  • The limitation on traps allowed to be used to trap stoats
  • Suspicious disappearance of satellite-tagged raptors
  • The Werritty review
  • Inclusion of the beaver on the Habitats Regulations
  • The updated COTES regulations
  • The Ivory Act 2018
  • Updated tail docking legislation
  • Improved forensic capability
  • Comment on possible future wildlife legislative change

Wildlife & the Law is designed in part to help prevent wildlife offences being committed, though where prevention has failed the well-indexed contents should help the reader recognise the offence and respond appropriately. It spells out chapter and verse in an easy-to-follow text and numerous colour photographs. As well as covering wildlife law, the book includes separate chapters on cruelty to domestic and captive animals, a brief chapter on offences relating to dogs, and one on offences committed against Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

As the sales of the first edition demonstrated, Wildlife & the Law is of interest to a range of people, including:

  • Police officers, and the staff of other organisations who have some responsibility for the investigation of wildlife crime;
  • Countryside rangers, foresters, badger groups, bat groups, raptor groups and others with a professional interest in wildlife issues;
  • Landowners, gamekeepers, farmers and pest controllers, who might use traps and snares or control ‘pest’ species in the course of their work;
  • Hill walkers, and others who take advantage of the countryside for recreation;
  • Property owners, developers or even householders who might have concerns with nesting birds, bat roosts or badger setts.

Comments on the first edition Wildlife are:

‘Whether used as a quick reference or to understand wildlife crime’s complex legislation, this book is a real aid for any wildlife or rural officer.’                                                                PC Charles Everitt, investigations support officer, UK National Wildlife Crime Unit 

‘A great asset not just for those who are following-up potential wildlife crime incidents, but also for any countryside user who wants a better understanding of the laws protecting our fantastic wildlife.’                                                                                                                                Ian Thomson, senior investigations officer, RSPB Scotland.

‘No stone is left unturned as the wildlife crime detective par excellence deploys his great breadth and depth of specialist knowledge.’                                                                      Professor Des Thompson, Scottish Natural Heritage

Though the book primarily covers wildlife law as it applies in Scotland, much of the law in the rest of the UK is similar, as is the practical application of the law for enforcement purposes. Hopefully therefore the book will be of benefit beyond Scotland.

Please note that this book, at least in the meantime, is not available in shops, but signed copies can be obtained from:

Alan Stewart – wildlifedetective@gmail.com  or 01738 840769. This book retails at £10 but for £15, which includes p&p, you can have a signed copy of Wildlife and the Law PLUS any other one of my books. See ‘My Books’, let me know your choice and I’ll get them in the post.

Copies of Wildlife and the Law can also be obtained from

Sean Bradley – thirstybooks@hotmail.com  or 07598 323440

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Book Review – The Photographs of Archie Chisholm by Michael Cope

Before I move on to my review of a fascinating book, apologies for the lack of new blogs so far this year. I have been really busy re-vamping Wildlife and the Law in Scotland to produce a new edition incorporating changes in wildlife legislation in Scotland since the first edition in 2012. PAW Scotland has kindly agreed to support the new book financially and I hope it will be published at the end of April or, at worst, early May.  I am also writing another book on wildlife on a lowland Perthshire estate to complement an earlier book, A Wealth of Wildlife: A Year on a Highland Perthshire Estate. I began my regular walks over the estate in August and will continue until July. The wildlife on this estate is equally as enthralling and I am writing the chapters and taking photographs as I go. This book should be published in the autumn.

I recently received a present of a new book The Photographs of Archie Chisholm: life and landscapes in the Outer Hebrides 1881 – 1913 by Michael Cope. For several reasons this book was of great interest to me. Firstly the Outer Hebrides, particularly North Uist, is my favourite holiday destination and I am familiar with many of the places described in the book. Next, many of the recent photos comparing the old photos taken by Archie Chisholm were taken by his grandson, Alistair Chisholm, whom I knew well. Lastly, at the time of taking the photos Archie Chisholm was the procurator fiscal for the area and based in Lochmaddy. I knew one of the much more-recent procurators fiscal at Lochmaddy, John Bamber, through his interest in dealing with wildlife crime and we met or communicated on many occasions. Hardly surprising then that I delved into this book with great interest.

One of the first things that struck me in the book was the power over other peoples’ lives held – and often wielded – by landowners. Archie Chisholm, as befits the role of a procurator fiscal, was clearly a fair man. As well as his public role he also ran a private solicitor’s practice and had refused to act for the landowner of the time, Sir John Campbell-Orde, in connection with eviction disputes with Campbell-Orde’s tenants. One of the solicitors in the practice was more than happy to act for the tenants seeking to avoid eviction. As a consequence Archie Chisholm was forbidden by Campbell-Orde from taking lodgings at any house on the estate, to purchase a feu so that he could build a house or even to stay in the hotel in Lochmaddy, making it extremely difficult for Archie to reside near to his place of work. To this day there remain many inconsistencies with the bestowing of a knighthood on a person and that person’s regard for humanity, fairness or public interest.

Archie’s photographs give an amazing insight into life in the Western Isles just over a century ago. He operated a small business, having many of his photographs professionally printed by a Manchester company as picture postcards and many of these appear in the book with the photograph overlaid by an apt description. The author, Michael Cope, whose wife is the granddaughter of Archie, covers a wide range of occupations and interests relating to Hebridean life, naturally illustrated by the photographs. Chapters include landscapes, the post offices and the post system (which again was much manipulated by landowners), crofting communities, churches and field sports, where the deer, salmon and trout on the islands attracted wealthy tourists for shooting and fishing.

This is a fascinating book which is complemented by the author’s research and text. Yet the photographs could probably stand alone, leaving this ancient lifestyle, so different to mainland life but maybe not so different even now to Hebridean life, to the readers’ imagination.

The Photographs of Archie Chisholm: life and landscapes in the Outer Hebrides 1881 – 1913 by Michael Cope. Thirsty Books, Edinburgh. £14.99  The book is available post-free within the UK using the link https://www.thirstybooks.com/bookshop/ygy9rpryi78o9bhg83l14kfr940pja

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Book review: The Arctic by Richard Sale and Per Michelsen

The Arctic, by Richard Sale and Per Michelsen.

This is an extremely well laid-out book, written by Richard Sale and with photos by Per Michelson on almost every page helping the reader to understand the subject under discussion. To read it was a fascinating learning experience, though with its weight, not one for reading in bed.

The Arctic details the geology of the area, the climate, the Arctic’s unique solar and atmospheric phenomena including the aurora borealis. The author even explains how the simple snowflake forms, yet how unique and complex each individual snowflake is.

Since the Arctic is made up of parts of different countries these areas are visited in turn and the author writes of their most interesting historical and natural features, including the indigenous peoples and their former and modern means of survival.

Much of the second half of the book – the part that I found absolutely fascinating – covers habitats and the birds and mammals that live there. Like the whole book this part was illustrated by amazing photographs of the animals and birds and Per Michelsen has to be complimented on both his photographic skills and the range of photos. Photographing mammals in the Arctic will present many challenges.

The book concludes with a warning on the fragility of the Arctic and the real risks of commercial exploitation, particularly of oil. The reader is reminded of the huge cost to wildlife and to the undersea habitat when the Exxon Valdez struck a reef in 1989 and released 250,000 barrels of oil into the sea.

Reading the book I was in awe at the vast knowledge of the author. This is not a book about one aspect of the Arctic but of a wide range of complex topics. The compilation of such a book, and its photographic illustrations, are a credit to Sale and Michelsen.

The Arctic by Richard Sale and Per Michelsen.                                                                Whittles Publishing Ltd, Dunbeath, Caithness, KW6 6EG  www.whittlespublishing.com  £25.

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