Did you know that we have a series of booklets – free to download on our website – covering some of the most interesting species in Scotland ? Our Naturally Scottish publications offer an insight into the lives of what are often iconic Scottish species, but occasionally some lesser known subjects too.
The series began in 1996 as a traditional printed product and the first two booklets featured some of Scotland’s most attractive marine animals. One booklet dealt with Seals, whilst the second booklet focused on Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. The final output of a busy first year saw the series throw a spotlight on Sea Eagles which were increasingly the subject of reintroduction plans.
The series set out to cover what was special about particular subjects, how their lives might impact with people, where you could expect to see the subject around Scotland, and generally offered an attractive insight into the life cycle of the species in question.
From ‘the off’ the intention was not only to have engaging narrative that de-mystified a subject but also to marry that introductory and accessible text with stunning imagery. And we were lucky that we set out on this series at a time when Scottish nature photography was entering a golden era. Noted wildlife photographers such as Laurie Campbell, Mark Hamblin, Neil McIntyre, David Whitaker, Niall Benvie, Pete Cairns and of course our own Lorne Gill, were making a real impression and producing stunning images that we were delighted to incorporate into our publications.
That classy photography was to have a central role in the popularity of the series. We followed up on the early trio of booklets with titles on Badgers, Red Squirrels and Burnet Moths. The Red Squirrel booklet became arguably the star of our Naturally Scottish series, and enjoyed several reprints, the first print run of 5,000 copies disappearing astonishingly quickly.
The publication of Corncrakes in 1999 took us into new territory — the publication was our first partnership output in the series, as we worked hand in hand with the RSPB to reveal the life of the secretive yet occasionally noisy bird that was rapidly becoming confined to the northern and western fringes of Scotland.
The millennium saw the booklet transformed from a simple, stapled format into more robust glossy publications with not only more pages but a cover that had a spine for easy referencing on bookshelves. Red Kites were featured and then the subject matter widened to take in River Runners (Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Atlantic Salmon and Lampreys), Fungi, Bumblebees, Amphibians & Reptiles, Lichens, Mosses & Liverworts and Butterflies.
The latest additions to the series have been particularly well received. Our update to the Sea Eagles booklet was timely as it celebrated the successful return of this imposing giant of the skies, and likewise our Scottish Wildcats booklet came at a time when interest and concern for an iconic species had never been greater. Add to the mix our comprehensive and fascinating look at the various Raptors in Scotland and it is clear this is a series that has continually sought to delve into interesting stories about remarkable species.
Scotland has more than 65,000 native species of animals and plants. Our Naturally Scottish series looks at different aspects of this rich natural heritage from individual species to whole groups in different environments. Many of the titles are now out of print, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology you can continue to enjoy this series, for free, online.
AUDIO VERSIONS – enjoy audio versions of our Naturally Scottish series here.
Further reading : View the series here , or search for individual titles on our Publications search engine.
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