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Prof russell coope low res

Surviving the Big Freeze

I meet Professor Russell Coope on the front step of his house, overlooking the wilds of Loch Tummel in Highland Perthshire. His home immediately strikes me as an apt setting for a paleontologist who has dedicated much of his life to studying the natural history of ice ages. This highland landscape was once carved out of ice by a glacier several kilometers deep.

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Gentle warriors

Gentle Warriors

Marco is one of a growing number of SWT members who are taking a more active role in defending their local wildlife from insensitive developments. It could be a local watercourse that risks being polluted, or a meadow of rare orchids to be dug up for a housing development. Sometimes it can come down to a single hedge that, if removed, will take away birdsong from someone’s life.

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Bring back the wild things

Bringing Back the Wild Things

Dusk is fast approaching in Argyll’s Knapdale forest. While a thin light still ripples across the surface of loch Coillie Bhorr, darkness is spreading though the woodland of birch, alder and willow. The path that I am following through these trees skirts a flooded area of gnawed stumps to reach a clearing with a deep, circular pool. At the far end is their ‘lodge’, a grand name for the large pile of branches that is home to a family of beavers.

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Elane yule 20

A Lifetime Fighting Wildlife Crime

Alan Stewart seems oddly out of place in Perth’s main police station, an unassuming man in his early sixties in jeans and a baggy jumper. It only when he answers his mobile phone to discuss his latest case in urgent tones that I realize that this man’s mild manners belies a steely law enforcer. I overhear him discussing the illegal collection of hundreds of fresh water mussels from a Perthshire river before he hangs up, shaking his head.

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