Over a six month period I created paintings based on time I spent at the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s (SWT) Rahoy Hills Reserve in Morvern, the West Highlands of Scotland.
Rahoy Hills Reserve has some of the last remaining native oak woodlands and temperate rainforest in Scotland and its basalt geology is habitat to rare species of Tall Herbs and Arctic Alpines.
The SWT organisation work to protect and manage the reserve and strive to maintain its conservation status. However due to continuing funding limitations and surrounding commercial land management activities the reserve is coming under increasing pressures that are in danger of impacting on the delicate balance of its ecology.
At present important field research and maintenance of the reserve’s protective infrastructure is carried out by the reserve’s warden. This work is essential to allow for species to reestablish, regenerate naturally and flourish.
If the warden’s position were to be withdrawn, which could be likely with a funding shortfall, then it would prove detrimental to the condition of the reserve and could result in an unfavorable reclassification of the conservation status of the reserve.
Rahoy Hills reserve is an extraordinary place and, in part, a true signifier of what has been lost from much of the Scottish wilderness. To draw and paint there, has been a privilege and although the resulting paintings are far from representational they are in direct response to being there, walking and immersing myself in its unique landscape.
By presenting this work I hope to help raise further awareness to the SWT’s endeavours and to highlight the importance of a continued warden’s position at the reserve. A percentage from any painting sales made will be donated to SWT to help fund their work carried out in this beautiful part of Scotland.