Watch: A Thoughtful Look at the UK’s Unlikely Wilderness

Developing a sense of place in the United Kingdom’s wildlands.


Three years ago, cinematographer Max Smith took on a project. He wanted to document the lush wilderness in the United Kindgom, a place not known for its wild places. His films take a gentle, patient look at the natural landscapes of the UK and the wildlife that inhabits them.

The Cairngorms, part of the Grampian mountain range, are classic Scottish highlands—rolling, green hills under oft-grey skies. They’re home to some of Scotland’s best climbing and wildlife including golden eagles, mountain hares, and the rare Scottish wildcat.

“Wet desert” is a term coined by ecologist Frank Fraser Darling to describe Dartmoor, a place seriously lacking in biodiversity. However, hidden in corners of the moor, hints of its past as a temperate rainforest persevere; mossy trees, ferns, and plant and animal life reminiscent of a distant past.

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