Jim Richardson@jimrichardsonng

National Geographic Photographer | Covering environment, agriculture, exploring Scotland | Co-founder @EyesOn.Earth | Writer | Speaker | Nonconformist


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Jim Richardson

If you ever wonder where Lagavulin gets its intense sea-born flavor and and why it smells like musty sea weed on the shore at low tide then look closely at where the warehouses sit, close by the bay on the south shores Islay, washed by storm tides in the winter, the whisky aging patiently for years and decades, taking on the character of this place as naturally as rain falls from clouds. You can’t make it anywhere else except there. Down the road a mile you can make Ardbeg, but not Lagavulin. #scotland #islay @natgeoimagecollection @natgeo @natgeotravel #whisky @hiddenscotland


Jim Richardson

Looking down on Westray from above the clouds that gather over Orkney Islands you might be tempted to think of them as Scottish places that time forgot. Or as little Brigadoons that only emerge from the mists once a century. But, no, Westray and neighboring Papa Westray have just received prestigious SURF Awards for community regeneration in Scotland, beating out big urban rivals (much to my delight.) Westray collected the title of Scotland’s Most Improved Place for efforts that included installing one of Scotland’s first community-owned wind turbines, building a dedicated youth centre, and establishing a community garden. Meanwhile on tiny Papa Westray the Papay Community Cooperative won the Community-Led Regeneration Award for its work to help rejuvenate the island’s community by establishing a social and economic hub. The population of the island has increased from 54 in the 1990s to its current 85. (And they host an annual arts festival!). It’s all heartwarming news. Congratulations. @visitorkney @visitorkney @visitscotland @westraydevelopmenttrust @orkneyjar_sigurd #scotland #orkney #westray


Jim Richardson

The wee island Eileen na Moine is a movie star, having served in the Harry Potter movies as the site of Dumbledore’s grave. It sits in Loch Eilt which splits Morar on the north from Moidart on the south. (Appropriately morbid sounding names.) Drive from Glenfinnan out to Mallaig and you’ll go right past. This is Local Hero (cult movie) territory, too. @natgeo @natgeotravel #scotland #harrypotter #localhero @hiddenscotland @natgeoimagecollection


Jim Richardson

Standing atop Sgorr Tuath the broad expanse of Assynt in northwest Scotland was stunning in all directions. It was a haul getting up here but worth it. Thanks to my friend Paul Tomkins who helped get me here and who shot this picture on a glorious morning. @natgeo @natgeotravel #scotland @northcoast500 #assynt @scotlandbigpicture


Jim Richardson

Rain like a misty veil came across the Mar Lodge estate late in the afternoon. Scotland gets its fair share of rain making mountain hikes a soggy business sometimes. Mar Lodge Estate, near Braemar in the Cairngorms, is owned by the National Trust for Scotland. It’s management for wilderness and the return of Caledonian Pine forests makes it a focal point in the issue of rewilding in Scotland. Controlling the red deer population is a key factor; most of the trees you see in this picture are more than 200 years old because deer nip off young trees which then never grow to maturity. @natgeo @natgeotravel #scotland #rewilding #cairngorms @scotlandbigpicture


Jim Richardson

Since most of you here are Scotland fans I thought you might enjoy this book by my friends at Scotland: Big Picture . (If you liked liked my previous picture of Assynt you’ll love the cover. Not my picture, BTW.) Besides being beautiful it details their conservation efforts for a wild Scotland. Here’s what James Shooter wrote me about the book. ‘SCOTLAND: A Rewilding Journey’ is a new book by @scotlandbigpicture, a non-profit organisation set up by professional photographers and filmmakers who are all motivated by the need to rebuild healthy ecosystems across Scotland. This is a rallying call for a wilder Scotland, where forests abundant with life are regenerating, where rivers lined with alder and willow run freely, where damaged peatlands are revitalised and where oceans support the great whales. It portrays a vision for a wilder Scotland – a place where nature works, where wildlife flourishes and crucially, where people prosper.”
Illustrated by some of the Scotland’s best (and most generous, I can tell you) nature photographers, (follow them all), including @peter_cairns_photography, @markhamblin.naturephotos, @jamesshooterphoto and @richardshucksmith.
You can order the book here: https://www.scotlandbigpicture.com/Store/books/scotland-a-rewilding-journey


Jim Richardson

Northwest Scotland looks like very wild country from atop Sgorr Tuath in Assynt — and it is! But Scotland has a lot of such territory. I’m looking out from the 2,944th highest mountain in Scotland. @natgeo @natgeotravel @natgeoimagecollection #scotland


Jim Richardson

It’s Thanksgiving Day here in the United States so I thought I might share how precious it has been to me to see moments like this, when the evening fog was draping across Kinlochbervie far in the Northwest corner of Scotland. This village is so remote the Oxford dictionary once considered using it to define the word “remote.” It’s on the North Coast 500, one of the sights that makes that road trip so rewarding. To all of you who follow me, wherever you are, thank you for letting me share these moments. @natgeo @natgeotravel #scotland @northcoast500


Jim Richardson

Eilean Donan Castle is endlessly popular with photographers (like me) for obvious reasons. (It looks good from all angles in all weather. Don’t miss it.) But don’t neglect its layered — and juicy — history, the island named after a Celtic saint, Donnan of Eigg martyred in 617 AD, the castle founded in the thirteenth century and blown up amidst the Jacobite rebellions of 1719, laying as a heap of rubble for two centuries till the twentieth century when it was rebuilt — and the bridge added. (No proper defensive castle would ever provide a bridge for attackers. But it is pretty and romantic and a great place for sword fights in movies.) Shot on assignment for @natgeoexpeditions. @natgeo @natgeoimagecollection #scotland #castle #island @hiddenscotland


Jim Richardson

Iona has a powerful draw on people, dating back to 563AD when St. Columba landed here. Perhaps it was a day like this with the turquoise waters lapping on the beach. (I always imagine the day was dark and stormy when the Viking raiders came in their longboats in 795AD.) Today the beach and village exude tranquility as you approach on the ferry. I shot this on assignment with @natgeoexpeditions. @natgeotravel @natgeoimagecollection #scotland #iona #hebrides


Jim Richardson

Looking out from my perch on the Shiant Isles, across the calm Minch cluttered with seabirds and the air crowded with traffic. And yet there should be more, were more in the past, perhaps will be again. A special place to consider how we can partner with nature to enrich the world. @adam.nicolson @natgeo @natgeoimagecollection #scotland #hebrides #seabirds


Jim Richardson

The puffins were most friendly when I visited the Shiant Isles several years ago. But seabirds we’re having a tough go because black rats attacked their nests. Now my friend Adam Nicolson (whose family owns these tiny islands) reports that the rat eradication program is starting to pay off. To great celebration Storm Petrels are breeding here again. Land birds doing better, too, like skylarks, wrens and rock pipits all thriving and numbers climbing. Great to share good news coming from these Scottish islands. For better understanding of Atlantic seabirds don’t miss Adam’s book The Seabird’s Cry. @adam.nicolson @rspb_love_nature @natgeo @natgeoimagecollection #scotland #hebrides #puffins