Review by Lizzie Guilfoyle
IAIN Scott is undoubtedly one of the world's best nature photographers.
He also cares passionately about conservation - so much so, in
fact, that all profits from his work, as writer and photographer,
go directly to one of his three charities, of which the Wildlife
For All Trust is one.
It should, then, come as no surprise to discover that his latest
book, 'Wonders of Nature', is a celebration of the natural world;
a world that, sadly, is under the ever increasing threat of extinction.
Even less of a surprise is the simple yet indisputable fact that
man is mainly responsible. So, can 'Wonders of Nature' make a
difference? Hopefully, the answer is yes.
Within the book's 168 pages is a stunning collection of photographs,
the concept behind each simply that 'a picture is worth a thousand
words'. And by focusing on wildlife AND landscape,
as few other books do, the inextricable link between the two becomes
For simplicity, subject matter is grouped around a number of
geographical locations - all easily accessible and well-known.
Included is Tanzania and Kenya, with the Masai Mara and Serengeti,
names that, in themselves, evoke images of the ultimate wilderness;
California and the remarkable Yosemite National Park; The Grand
Canyon, and Australia, with its unique group of marsupials.
Did you know, for example, that there are 45 species of wallabies
and kangaroos in Australia, four of which are presumed to be extinct,
while a further 19 are endangered or vulnerable?
Page 72 is a case in point and what a delightful, though poignant
pun; and finally, England's green and pleasant land, with its
White Cliffs and ancient semi-natural woodland of which, sadly,
less than two percent now remains.
Yet, by Scott's own admission, certain species and locations
have been excluded - the South American rainforest is a prime
example, as are tigers and polar bears, which is a little disappointing.
Perhaps another time.....
Nonetheless, 'Wonders of Nature' delivers what its title suggests
- whether a magnificent leopard on Namibia's Etosha Plain, or
a carpet of wild flowers somewhere north of Cape Town. Moreover,
it brings to mind another adage - 'a thing of beauty is a joy
forever'; or at least, it should be.
Hopefully, with awareness and a willingness to support people
like Scott, the natural world itself, and not just images in a
book, however good, will survive for future generations to enjoy.
If then, 'Wonders of Nature' helps in some small way, it will
almost certainly make a difference.
Photo of Grand Canyon by Lizzie Guilfoyle