After completing an MA in Education Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University, Martin Alexander joined photographer Malcolm Stott, at NatureFramed. We aim to showcase the best of nature and promote sustainable 'natural' landscapes in our mountains and forests, our rivers and seas. Naturalness, or biodiversity, encompasses all living things that share our world, the soaring eagle, the tiny ant, the leaping salmon, the humble sea-slug.
Malcolm developed his passion for photography while living in NE Derbyshire. He discovered a special kind of nature above these northern valleys on the high, bleak moors of the Peak District, a place Malcolm came to know-well and enjoy during his youth. Birdwatching, chasing butterflies and an interest in botany were very different hobbies from most of his contemporaries growing-up in the 60's.
After completing a student-apprenticeship in electrical engineering, the steel works were not to be his destiny. Instead he decided to follow his passion and enthusiasm for nature by carving a career in conservation.
The Kodak Brownie camera given to Malcolm on his twelfth birthday sparked a life-long passion for photography. He now shoots with a Canon 1DX Mark2 and 5D Mark2 DSLR’s.
In areas of the Scottish Highlands, where Malcolm first started his conservation career wildness was on a landscape scale, the grandeur of high mountains and undulating braes, heaths and bogs. Today, that essence of wildness is stealthily being eroded, particularly by the installation of wind farm developments and subsidiary works, with their high visibility impact in the landscape. The pursuance of renewable energy may have some capacity to off-set our carbon footprint, but when insensitively situated they are nothing short of a ‘greening myth’ imposed on our last truly wild landscapes.
Increasingly stimulated by social media and dreams made possible by cheap travel, we are lured, in greater numbers than ever before, into globally sensitive landscapes where, through ignorance of their vulnerability, we have the potential to destroy the very thing we seek. Iceland is a contemporary example, where a new-found tourism industry, coupled with inadequate infrastructure, is having profound and irreversible ecological damage to pristine and fragile habitats. Should you decide to visit any of these inspirational landscapes enjoy the experience, take responsibility seriously and recognise the potential harm of your own footprints.
Naturalness is vital for our well-being and a key ingredient to the health of our planet. Embracing nature is good for our minds and our bodies, gives children fun and a healthy way to learn and can help bring people together, closer to nature.
In reality nothing ever stands still in the natural world, the only constant factor is change, how we manage the rate of change to ensure biodiversity is our greatest challenge, both now and for the foreseeable future. In the words of Gerard Manly Hopkinson from his poem ‘Inversnaid’
"What would the world be, once bereft of wet and wilderness?
Let them be left. O let them be left, wilderness and wet;
Long live the weeds and wilderness yet".