In Search of Lost Wilderness
240 Pages, 5.5 x 8.65 in
- October 2022
- In Stock
Longlisted for the 2022 Highland Book Prize
In 2019, Jenna Watt took part in the stalking of a hind on the vast Highland estate of Corrour: part of an immersive attempt to understand the ideas that lie behind ‘rewilding’, and what it means emotionally and physically to participate in Scotland’s deer cull. Piece by piece and chapter by chapter she unravels the story of that one day spent hunting the hind, interlaced with her discovery that her ancestors were deer stalkers, game keepers and ghillies on a Highland estate, who once took part in increasingly controversial land practices like muirburn and species persecution.
This exploration leads her into the complex and often conflict-ridden world of the rewilding movement. She meets the ‘Wolf Man’ of the Highlands, who wants to introduce the first wild wolves back into Scotland for over 300 years; a mountain ecologist who ranges alone across the landscape to track the environmental impact of deer on Scotland’s upland ecosystem; landowners who are reintroducing species like beaver onto their estates; and a female deer stalker, who is trying to introduce more women into the male-dominated world of stalking and game-keeping.
In the process, Jenna comes to better understand the meaning of ‘wildness’, the shifting baselines of ‘rewilding’, and, in a world beset by climate change and species extinction, how to cope, both as an individual and as a society, with the concept of ecological grief.
Offers a refreshing female perspective on subjects such as wildness, how to cope with ecological grief, reintroducing beavers and the social devastation wrought by the Highland clearances' ~Countryfile
An intriguing read that ventured down all sorts of fascinating rabbit holes' ~Peter Cairns, Scotland The Big Picture
Hindsight takes the reader into the heart of this debate... the way [Watt] has written the opening chapters is beautiful... emotional stuff' ~BBC Radio Scotland Afternoon Show
offers some refreshingly novel perspectives on the vexed question of deer management in Scotland... bring[ing] a clear-eyed feminist perspective to everything she sees' ~Roger Cox, Scotland on Sunday
A real eye-opener, and well put together. There have been several books on rewilding lately, but few ask the question 'Is this the right way?' ~John Miles, Birdwatching Magazine
In Hindsight Jenna Watt goes far deeper into Scotland’s relationship with red deer. It may be a book about deer, but it’s also about people, habitats, history, landownership, grief and belonging' ~Camilla Swift, Spectator
The book is a wonderful way into the conversations happening around land management, deer culling, rewilding, ecological grief and ecofeminism across different areas in the Highlands and Scotland' ~Federica Stefani, Northern Bibliophile Podcast
Well-written and honest, Hindsight is a brilliant read for the curious' ~Scottish Field
From hind stalking and beaver introduction to land management, the book touches on many aspects of conservation which affect the Highlands, giving a voice to various perspectives in the conversation' ~Inverness Courier
essential reading for lovers of the Great outdoors... thought-provoking exploration of the ethical issues surrounding deer culling in Scotland' ~Roger Cox, Scotsman Magazine
Hindsight is about much more than deer... Watt has an unsparing eye for whims and ecological blindspots' ~Times Literary Supplement
Hindsight is an enjoyable, thoughtful and thought-provoking contribution to the rewilding debate' ~David Taylor, West Highland Notes and Queries