Scotland's Scenic Beauty - BBC & STV TV Series on YouTube
Scotland's Landscape, Coast, Scotland Revealed, Scotland's Towns, Scotland the Land, Weir's Way
A number of BBC and Scottish TV programmes on various subjects have been uploaded to YouTube (for educational purposes) and thus are available to be viewed around the world. The links below cover a large number of these but is by no means exhaustive. Even so, if you view all the videos listed here it will take well over 24 hours!
Note, however, that many of these videos cannot be downloaded to mobile phones or tablets or indeed downloaded for storage on a PC - they have to be played on a Web browser on a desktop PC or laptop.
Each episode of the BBC TV series by Professor Iain Stewart on the "Making of Scotland's Landscape" is roughly an hour long and includes some great film on many aspects of Scotland's landscapes. The five programmes are divided into specific themes:
- Making Scotland's Landscape - Trees In this first programme, Iain Stewart uncovers how, over thousands of years, the actions of mankind and the climate nearly led to the downfall of Scotland's trees and forests. It was only in the 18th century that man realised the extent of the damage to timber stocks, and measures were taken to re-populate the landscape. The impact was profound, but not everyone agreed with the results. (59 minutes)
- Making Scotland's Landscape - Land For centuries, the beauty and drama of Scotland's landscape has been regarded by most visitors as natural. But in 1950, an eminent ecologist concluded the Highlands had been devastated. Once it was rich and diverse he said, but humans had destroyed it and in the process created what he described as a wet desert. Professor Iain Stewart discovers how man made the proverbially beautiful Highlands. (59 minutes)
- Making Scotland's Landscape - Sea Professor Stewart reveals how hearts and not heads have ruled the least understood landscape of them all - the sea. The public's emotions have played a key role in the fate of Scotland's maritime creatures and the upshot has been a form of lottery. While some species like seals and sea birds have been protected, others - like cod - have been fished nearly out of existence. (58 minutes)
- Making Scotland's Landscape - Water Scotland's rivers and lochs represent how the nation imagines itself. However as Professor Iain Stewart discovers, the only thing that happens naturally is rain. As soon as it hits the ground, it is ours and we do with it what we will. Today there are scarcely any rivers or natural large bodies of water left untouched by human activity. This is the story of how Scotland's waters became some of the most managed on earth. (59 minutes)
- Making Scotland's Landscape - Climate Professor Iain Stewart concludes a landmark five-part series in which he reveals how Scotland's unique and beautiful landscape has been shaped over the centuries. During the Industrial Revolution, Scottish scientists and engineers helped unwittingly set off a chain of events that today we know as climate change - a process that is transforming our atmosphere and warming our planet. Professor Iain Stewart looks at how Scotland is on the verge of another revolution: the transformation of a carbon economy to a green one. (59 minutes)
- Scotland's Winter Wonderland : 18 Jan 2010 In December 2009 the snow came - and overnight Scotland was transformed into a winter wonderland. This is a celebration of the beauty of Scotland in winter, from Ben Nevis to the Borders, filmed from the air in High Definition (HD). Forget the burst pipes and cancelled trains for a moment and enjoy these spectacular views of Scotland in the snow. (23 minutes)
The long-running series "Coast" on BBC2 began in 1995 and so far there have been eight series (with another in the pipeline). The programmes cover various subjects related to British coastlines including geography, natural history, archaeology, social history, anthropology and geology. The presenters sometimes remind viewers that "In the British Isles you are never more than 72 miles from the sea." Excerpts from episodes covering Scottish coasts that have appeared on YouTube include:
- Burghead Pictish Fort This vitrified fort lies on top a headland which commands extensive views of the Moray Firth. Originally believed to be Ptolemy's 'Ptoroton' and the 'Torffness' of the Orkneyinga Saga it is now known to be of Pictish origin. It encloses 3 hectares and is three times as large as any other fort of the same period in Scotland and is thought to be the oldest Pictish Fort. (5 minutes)
- Caledonian Canal Construction of the canal along the Great Glen (11 minutes)
- Fort George The 18th century fortress near Inverness with perhaps the mightiest artillery fortifications in Europe. It was built to pacify the Scottish Highlands in the aftermath of the Jacobite rising of 1745 (3 minutes)
- Inner Hebrides to Faroe Islands 1 of 2 Historian Neil Oliver discovers how romance blossomed for British soldiers and Faroese women during the Second World War's 'Operation Valentine'. (7 minutes)
- Inner Hebrides to Faroe Islands 2 of 2 Second excerpt of Historian Neil Oliver discovering how romance blossomed for British soldiers and Faroese women during the Second World War's 'Operation Valentine'. (7 minutes)
- Joan Eardley, Scottish Artist Joan Kathleen Harding Eardley Joan Eardley (18 May 1921 - 16 August 1963) was a Scottish artist. In Glasgow she bought a studio in Townhead - not in the Gorbals as is often stated. The street children of the area had an impact on her and she became well known for her paintings which depicted the poverty in which these children lived. She also bought a cottage in Catterline, Kincardineshire later on, a place which became a subject of many of her works. Her work can be found in the National Galleries of Scotland as well as many other galleries across the world. She became a member of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1963, just before her death. (5 minutes)
- Loch Creran Tube Worm Reefs The unusual Tube Worm Reefs at the bottom of Loch Creran, Scotland (5 minutes)
- Stonehaven New Year Fireballs The annual Hogmanay Fireball event at Stonehaven (3 minutes)
Author and broadcaster Vanessa Collingridge presented a series on Scottish Television entitled "Scotland Revealed" celebrating Scotland's stunning landscape and landmarks from the air. Some additional STV programmes are also included in this sub-section
- Scotland Revealed - Episode 1 Exploring Edinburgh from its volcanic beginnings to the building of the glorious New Town. Then through the agricultural Borders and follows Glasgow's mighty River Clyde before arriving at the gateway to the Highlands, Stirling. (48 minutes)
- Scotland Revealed : Episode 2 Starts in Mid-Argyll, visiting Kilmartin to explore the history of some of Scotland's earliest kings. Then to Inveraray and the west coast of Skye before ending with a journey from Ben Nevis to Urquhart Castle. (48 minutes)
- Scotland Revealed : Episode 3 across the Cairngorms, journeys along the River Dee to Balmoral, revels in Aberdeen's granite architecture and ends by taking a look at two of Scotland's engineering marvels - the Bell Rock Lighthouse and the Forth Rail Bridge. (47 minutes)
- Scotland Revealed : In Winter Scotland's stunning landscapes and landmarks as seen from the air in the depths of winter - the Cairngorms, Glencoe, the Great Glen Fault with a breath-taking aerial portrait of Scotland's beautiful scenery during the winter months, while covered in snow. (46 minutes)
The series "Scotland's Towns" from Scottish Television explores different towns in Scotland, to learn about the historical and cultural backgrounds of each place.
- Scotland's Towns : The Best of Scotland's Towns Starting with the brightly coloured Kirkcudbright, the programme follows with seven other towns, including the remote Dumfries, a town which has played a big part in history and Stirling - the gateway to the Highlands. (24 minutes)
- Scotland's Towns : Paisley Paisley is a town that is overshadowed by Glasgow, but which has an interesting medieval past and a famous weaving industry. (24 minutes)
- Elgin is known for being in a famous area for malt whisky, as well as for its beautiful churches. (25 minutes)
- Scotland's Towns : Stirling Stirling, which is known as being the gateway to the highlands, as well as a site of many famous battles over the years. (24 minutes)
- Scotland's Towns : Dumfries Dumfries is a town rich in history and where many important events took place. (25 minutes)
- Scotland's Towns : Kirkcudbright Located in the south of Scotland, it has a rich history and is an established port town, Scenes in the the "Wicker Man" movie were also filmed here. (24 minutes)
- Scotland's Towns : St Andrews a town famous for it's craggy skyline, as well as it's rich golfing history. (24 minutes)
- Scotland's Towns : Kelso It's quaint Georgian style buildings, makes it one of the most romanticised towns in Scotland. (23 minutes)
- Scotland's Towns : Rothesay On the Isle of Bute, which was a popular destination for a seaside holiday in the Victorian era. (24 minutes)
The series "Scotland the Land" from Scottish Television is a fascinating series bringing us stunning aerial views of some of Scotland's most famous rivers and the treasured landscapes they run through.
The National Trust for Scotland has set up its own video Nature Channel, in conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage to capture the amazing abundance of wildlife and the stunning landscape that can be seen across their incredible range of properties. The project utilises the habitat, species knowledge and field-craft skills of the Trust’s rangers, ecologists and conservation specialists, in recording this unique footage.
The National Trust for Scotland Nature Channel Index leads to a number of sections covering aspects such as:
NTS Nature Channel Header
- Snapshots - Wildlife - See the diverse range of wildlife the Trust has across it's estate from the red deer of Torridon to the seals on the beaches of St Abb's Head, Red Squirrels at Mar Lodge Estate and a Meadow Pipit feeding a Cuckoo. (23 videos in all, of varying length).
- The Landscape of Mar Lodge Estate - Mar Lodge Estate occupies nearly 7% of the Cairngorms National Park, covering in total 29,380 hectares of some of the most remote and scenic wild land in Scotland, including four of the five highest mountains in the UK.
- Kintail and West Affric - Seven videos of the amazing landscape of Kintail and West Affric in these stunning sequences that show the diverse nature of the West Highlands, including golden eagles.
- Hermitage & Killiecrankie - The rivers and woods of Perthshire are a fantastic example of the beautiful landscape of Scotland. There are plenty of walks for everyone to enjoy in the woods of the Hermitage or by the river at Killiecrankie, including the rare pinemarten and salmon leaping. Four videos.
- Living Kintail - During the days of the clans Kintail was famous for the quality of its grazing and the cattle reared as a result. This video shows some of the life and habitats to be found in Kintail today.
- Woodpeckers in Kintail & Morvich - A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers carefully feed their young. The adults must take care not to be pecked by their over eager young- they already have very powerful beaks, which could seriously injure a parent's eye. The adults work tirelessly constantly bringing in food to the incessantly calling chicks.
- Black Grouse at Mar Lodge Estate Winter - Early spring is the main time of the year when Black Grouse "Lek" and the weather can be very unpredictable. Here the birds struggle to walk over deep snow but this does not seem stop them displaying and chasing off rival males. A hardy bird indeed!
Scottish climber, author and broadcaster Tom Weir (December 29, 1914 - July 6, 2006) was born in Glasgow and was the younger brother of actress Molly Weir. Tom Weir became a pioneering campaigner for the protection of the Scottish environment and from 1976–1987, he hosted the Scottish Television series Weir's Way, meeting the people of Scotland, exploring the landscape and its natural history. When STV repeated the series during the late night slot from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s it managed to achieve 30% audience share and a cult following. He was President of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, was awarded an MBE and was Scottish TV Personality of the year 1978.
There is a very large number of Weir's Way programmes on YouTube and the following is only a selection!
There is a very large number of Weir's Way programmes on YouTube and the following is only a selection!
While some of the YouTube videos listed here are part of a major series, others are either individual programmes or short series. So here is a selection of "miscellaneous" videos on YouTube which nevertheless fit in to the overall theme of this page.
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