Making space for nature photography, with wildlife filmmaker Libby Penman

In this episode we chat to award winning nature photographer and filmmaker Libby Penman. She tells us what drove her passion for nature and filmmaking, and gives us a few insider tips on ways we can improve our own wildlife photography.

We hear about her recent work on our Make Space For Nature campaign, as well as other projects keeping her busy, including a variety of BBC programmes. 

She suggests simple ways we can all make space for nature as part of everyday life, whilst contributing to research, helping our own wellbeing and fighting nature loss. A really great listen!

 

 

Follow Libby Penman on Instagram.

Catch the Back From The Brink series on BBC iPlayer where Libby showcases the work of conservationists across Europe.

Watch The Adventure Show on BBC iPlayer where Libby tries a range of outdoor activities.

Directed by Libby, Body Shame is on the BBC Scotland channel and covers issues around male body insecurity.

Transcript

Kirstin:

Hi and welcome to Make Space For Nature from NatureScot, the podcast that celebrates Scotland's nature and landscapes. I'm Kirstin Guthrie, and in each episode, we will help you connect with and take care of our amazing natural world. In this episode, Tim Hancox and I chat to award-winning nature photographer Libby Penman. She tells us what drove her passion for nature and photography, and what we can all do to make space for nature and help fight climate change and nature loss.

Hi Libby, welcome to the Make Space For Nature podcast. Thanks for joining us today.

Libby:

Thanks a lot for having me on.

Kirstin:

Not at all. You describe yourself as an adventure seeker and filmmaker. So tell us where your career started and how you've combined your adventurous side with a passion for nature.

Libby:

Yeah, so a pretty unusual route into wildlife filmmaking, but the first subjects I ever filmed were all in the skate park actually. So first time I ever had a camera in my hand was filming rollerbladers, skateboarders, BMXers. I was very much involved in the sort of skate park scene growing up and as a teenager. And several pretty nasty injuries later meant a summer with an arm in a cast. So I couldn't skate, but I still wanted to be on the skate park all day, so I think I sort of just got into filming people and I quickly realized that I had way more passion for putting together videos of everybody than even skating myself. So once my cast came off, I still was sort of known as the skate park videographer, if you will. And everyone would always ask me, can you film this? Can you edit this? And it just became my thing and I absolutely loved it. And so I wouldn't really initially know that that was gonna turn into wildlife, but as a sort of, I've always had a, I mean, I spent all my time outside. And so I sort of combined just a hobby of always being in the outdoors with sort of video skills I'd picked up. And then I went on to study filmmaking at uni. And so I sort of, the wildlife and the outdoors sort of hobby was just that, a hobby. But I did have the skills to film fast moving unpredictable objects because I'd been filming skateboarders and things for years. So I sort of combined the two and I sort of found that I had a bit of a knack for that and definitely a lot of patience when you're waiting for someone to land a trick, you have to wait until they do it a time and time again until they eventually land it and it's the same with waiting for an animal, you have to wait for it to do the behaviour you're after. So a lot of crossover even though it seems a bit unconventional. So yeah, that's how it all began.

Kirstin:

Brilliant, a great start and you're super busy at the moment and you've been creating some really engaging content for our Make Space For Nature campaign. So tell us about some of the other projects you've been working on recently.

Libby:

So I've been working on various bits and pieces. One, I've been directing a documentary which is quite different for wildlife, all about fitness and body image and mental health, and that's for BBC. So quite different from wildlife, but again, a project I've shot and directed. And in the wildlife space, I produced a VT, a short piece for Winterwatch earlier this year, and that was all about me filming urban wildlife in Glasgow. So that was really awesome. I've camera-opped and done bits and pieces on Springwatch before, so it was nice to do another piece again for Winterwatch. And I've also been working on a project that I got funding for at the end of last year from Natural Geographic about a project with myself and a fellow Fife filmmaker, Doug Allan. And that's about two wildlife filmmakers with nearly 50 years apart in age, looking at the environment and the nature crisis from very different perspectives in terms of generations. So I've also been doing that in the background and yet making lots of videos and lots of time outside filming for NatureScot. So it's been a busy old time.

Kirstin:

Brilliant. Yeah, the one you were referring to there with Doug Allan, that's an interesting one. I think you went to Tentsmuir, is that one of our nature reserves you visited there, didn't you?

Libby:

Yeah, I've been in Tentsmuir which is obviously, as a Fifer, just an absolutely iconic spot to go to for wildlife. And one of the things I'm quite passionate about is, I guess, when we think of wildlife in Scotland, West Coast gets all the glory for sure. But there is some really amazing spots in the East Coast as well. And I think Tentsmuir is a perfect example of that. So, yeah, been over there doing some filming for bits and pieces recently.

Kirstin:

Yeah, oh it's lovely over there, I love it. And what about your career highlights so far? I know you've got way, way, way to go with your career, but what's your highlight so far?

Libby:

One of my favourite things was speaking live at COP26 with Steve Backshall. Presented a series of films from different filmmakers from all around the world and we each produced a film locally in our own countries about a separate issue and I did the film for Scotland and my film was all about looking to the future and highlighting the role the television industry can play. It's an industry with a massive amount of reach and influence and funding and capability to put out really important messages. So it was sort of about myself and a group of filmmakers and an organisation, a sort of passion group called Filmmakers for Future. We put together what we hoped to happen and what we hope the industry can sort of change in terms of representation behind the camera, representation on screen, all these different issues. And we put together these different film series. And yeah, it was definitely a real privilege to get to speak at COP26 and for anybody that doesn't know what that is, it was sort of the biggest environmental negotiations that have taken place so far and that was held in Glasgow at the time when we did this. So also nice to do something so local. The conference was actually about a one minute walk from my flat so maybe I had the lowest carbon footprint of anyone that attended. So yeah, it was a sort of accumulation of a lot of hard work to be chosen to represent a film at that. And really cool to have Steve Backshall present and host the event. And just I felt like we got our point across to some of the heads of the entire television industry. So it was a real sort of moment for everybody involved who was giving up a lot of our free time to do this and to volunteer to create things and to create films to get to have our say on quite a big platform. So yeah, the COP26 event and what spiralled from that getting to speak in a whole host of different schools across Scotland to engage young people about what COP26 was and the film that I was involved in doing with that. And yeah, just getting to engage other young students around the issues of it, which all came off the back of it, was probably one of the best. I feel like the thing that's had the most impact to what I've made so far.

Tim:

That's amazing, there'll be so much going on. You're really taking off and rushing about, getting so much great content out there for everyone, which is really exciting to have you on here. From NatureScot's work, we're very focused on the twin crises of climate change and nature loss, which your award-winning documentary, Shooting Animals, really highlights those crises quite well. Can you tell us a bit more about that project and how you found working on it?

Libby:

Yeah, so that was a long project. Took well over three and a bit years to make because it was an independent film that I was shooting, presenting, editing, directing, everything. With, of course, loads of different filmmakers came on board and helped at various points, but it was done throughout the pandemic. So shooting on and off, bringing in different funding when we could get it, sometimes having to give up our time for free, sometimes having to work. So there was a lot of surrounding factors that made it really challenging to keep going with it, but myself and what I'm pleased to say are all my friends that were able to work on it. And some people I really look up to, likes of Gordon Buchanan and other filmmakers, and we got some footage of Greta Thunberg from the Scottish Royal Geographical Society. So some really amazing people lent their voice to the project in the end. And so it was pretty amazing to see it all come together after three and a bit years of work constantly doing that project. And yeah, it went on to win best documentary at the Scottish Art Film Festival, which was really cool. And it went on STV News, the six o'clock news on World Environmental Day went on STV Player for a year and it's been shown in schools and colleges and unis across Scotland. So just super cool to get something that myself and so many other people were so passionate about seen by a lot of people because half the battle when you make something is actually getting it out there. So a lot of work I do sort of maybe directly with the BBC or a production company so there's a direct route to get it shown already laid out for you but when you're making something quite independently like this it's once you finish the thing, it's still a lot of work to make sure that it gets seen by people and has the impact you hope for. So I think again, a lot of people helped out in the production of it, but also a lot of people helped out like the schools and teachers that sort of helped me get it in to young people. It was amazing to see how many people were really, really up for helping with it. So yeah, a long project, but one I’ve sort of drawn a line under recently because that's it’s finished its run on STV Player, well actually it finishes its run on STV Player in a few days so anybody that can still catch it. But yeah, that was a really cool project I'm definitely really proud of but sort of keen to move on to the next big one now.

Kirstin:

Yeah, I think that it was a fantastic project and I think I remember seeing you on the STV news and that's where I first heard about you actually and that's when I thought, oh, the messages you were talking about climate change, nature loss that were coming across so strong and totally fitting with what we're trying to say in the in the Make Space For Nature campaign and the thing that we often do within the campaign is try and provide kind of ways that people can help wildlife every season and you know we're just going into summer, we've just had the spring campaign. So, you know, with the spring top 10 ways, which of these resonate most with you?

Libby:

I mean, I definitely think noticing nature and spending time of it is a huge one for me. And I think speaking, so very specifically as a filmmaker, one of the main things I sort of tried to do is to highlight nature and, you know, spend time in nature and sort of share that with people. So one of the tips, you know, like notice what's nearby as well as one thing we touched on about like looking at local wildlife and things. And that's something I feel really strongly about. And it's kind of amazing on social media. Like I post things of certain wildlife and things. And I'll get messages from people saying, I can't believe that's in Glasgow or I can't believe that's just in Fife. So it is really cool what you're able to do to just share when you do spend time out in nature to share what you're seeing. And I actually can see it have kind of an impact to people and see that they're gonna then go out and have a look for those sort of things. So I spend a lot of time in nature and that's something I really try and encourage people with the campaign when it's things like very specific things you can do to help, like recording sightings is amazing and very entertaining fun. And I've seen family members now sending me screenshots saying that they've submitted a sighting and things like that. And it's really cool to see it have an effect that people are getting involved and finding it fun, especially people can do it with their families and things and contribute to citizen science and report sightings. So it's a really fun way to have people actively engaged, but also just encouraging people to be in the outdoors because again, a lot of people, like friends and stuff of mine will say to me like, oh, it's so lucky you see all this cool stuff. Like, how do you see an eagle? How do you see an otter? Like, how have you seen all these things? And I was like, there's no real magic formula to it. It's just simply, I'm there a lot. Like, I spend a lot of time outside and that's how you see stuff. So that is just encouraging people to spend as much time outdoors as possible. I mean, I've never felt worse for it having spent my entire day outside. Definitely you get days, especially as a filmmaker, where you have spent the whole day and you've got nothing to show for it. And that's kind of unusual. It's unlike any other job. You could have a less productive day than usual, maybe in some other fields. But sometimes when you're out filming, you can literally get nothing for a whole day. And then you feel a little bit deflated, but you still have enjoyed a full day outside. So there's still pros to the environment and space you're actually in, it’s always a good time to be in the outdoors basically. So I'd really, with everything I do, just try and encourage people to first and foremost, just be out there.

Kirstin:

Yeah, I think you're right. And the other thing is with the citizen science is even just IDing something that you see and trying to figure out what it is and actually getting a name to that species, it's quite fulfilling. Yeah, I found a butterfly yesterday that I ended up trying to find out what it was and it was quite nice to actually go, ah, right, okay, that's what I saw. So that was good.

Libby:

No, I know exactly what you mean. I've tried to explain it to people before and they think I'm a little bit mad, but it's sort of like, it's sort of like, you know when you're learning a language and you're just at the very early stages, so you just know one or two words and you maybe go on holiday and you've got like the menu at a table and it clicks to you that you know the word for bread or you know the word for water. And for the first time ever, you see it written down and you're like, I know what that is. And you get like a wee buzz around it. And I find when the more you know about nature and the more species, like when you can identify certain bird songs or certain species or like butterflies, like it's like you get more enjoyment time and time again, the more you understand about the whole picture and when you understand what's happening in certain seasons, it's like you get out from it what you put in and I think when you learn more about it, it maximizes your enjoyment. So again, it's great to see more and more people get involved in like IDing species and reporting things and just, you know, putting out bird feeders and just engaging in what actually comes to visit their bird feeder and knowing what those animals are. It's really cool and I think it's taken off lately and people are really interested.

Tim:

It's so good getting out. And like you say, all those small things that you can do, I think people sometimes don't realize how the smallest little bit you can do in your own life and how that can make such a big impact. There are obviously a lot of problems going on in the world with all kinds of things that people are dealing with in their own lives. And as we tried to tell people about the twin crises of climate change and nature loss, it can be hugely overwhelming and really negative, we've heard from folks you start to feel, you know, I'm just one person, what can I do? So what would you say to people who, you know, do you have that sort of overwhelmed feeling and, you know, the tiny little things you can do that can make a difference as we all work together?

Libby:

I think, yeah, I mean, it's definitely a really valid point. It can feel very overwhelming when you watch things, you hear things, you learn about things. But I think one of the ways to combat a feeling of being overwhelmed is to take control. And when you take control and be actively engaged to make things better, you feel better about the situation. And that is definitely a way to combat this feeling of helplessness, is to actively partake in helping out. So that can be as simple as spending time with friends, getting them outside on a walk with you. So everyone's mental health is improved. Everyone's spending time outdoors and you are noticing these different species and changes in the seasons and things like that. So I think that is one way to combat being overwhelmed is to take control back and try and help out. The other thing as well in terms of feeling that you're too small to make a difference or whatnot, I would say that especially with families and friends or if you have a sort of network around you, like don't underestimate the amount of influence you can have in your little bubble of people. If you're saying, hey, everybody, like family members or whatnot, let's get out on a Sunday walk or let's have a look at the garden. What can we do with the design of it to help out a little bit more? These little things will have a knock-on effect on everyone in your little bubble and then they'll go on to have an effect. And before you know it, actually quite a lot of people in your community are actually getting involved. So it's always like building blocks and I think you helping out others, whether it's your friends, family or anyone, colleagues, to get involved is just a great first step in it and it's definitely going to help you feel better about the situation and help out the situation.

Kirstin:

Absolutely, and I think a lot of people, as you kind of spoke about earlier, like to take photos when they're out and about as well. And, you know, be it just on a on a most of us do this, it's you know, it's just on our phone. So, you know, rather than a kind of a larger, more professional camera. So are there any tips that you could give us from a photography point of view? Beyond patience. So I think we all need to have a bit of that don't we? But is there any kind of advice you could give to people without using their phones?

Libby:

Oh, that's a great question. I mean, yeah, phones, sometimes I feel gutted when I'm out on a walk and I don't have a camera with me and I see something amazing happen. And then I'm just remember like, you can't have your camera with you, which is like kind of like work. You can't have your work tools with you every walk. So I've had to sort of learn to enjoy. And if I wanna take a photo, just take it on my phone. And you don't have to be worrying about like, oh my goodness, is this the quality enough that could go on TV? First of all, actually anything that's filmed on a phone absolutely could go on television. I mean, the most viewed and interacted content in the world right now is not television, it's social media. And most of that is filmed on a phone. So there's nothing to worry about in terms of quality or what you're capturing, anything like viral videos happen not because of someone's like amazing thousand pound camera, it's because of just what's been recorded. So I think don't get worried or too bogged down about what kit you're using. A phone is more than capable of just capturing what it is you've seen. In terms of actually composing or getting a good shot, I'd say one of the tips is always, if you're filming something, rather than, especially on a phone trying to sort of maybe shakily, if it's a bird going along a branch or, you know, you see a red squirrel and you wanna follow it rather than like shakily trying to follow it with your phone and it might look a little bit bumpy, just let it go out the frame, just like video it and let it leave the shot. And then you've got a nice clean shot of you've seen it and it's actually just exited the frame and that'll look like a nice crisp little shot that you can then share with people and it's not gonna have that wobble of you sort of, you know, Blair Witch Project-esque trying to follow around. So just, I mean, I'm guilty of it as well because you wanna keep the action going all the time, but just letting animals leave the frame, whether it's a phone, a camera, whatever, and then you can always pick it up at a later point, but it's a nice way to make things look nice and neat.

Kirstin:

That's a really good point. I'm gonna have to try that one for sure. And I'm just thinking about the kind of work you've done with other professional photographers, you know, and kind of some advice and tips you've gained from them. And you spoke about Doug Allan earlier so tell us more about that, the project that you're working with him.

Libby:

Yeah, so Doug Allan is just super cool. I mean, I met Doug, he was giving a talk all about wildlife and climate change, and I went along and I was really kind of blown away by the talk, I was expecting like very technical, like camera chat about how he captured some of the most iconic shots we've all probably seen on like Blue Planet, Frozen Planet, polar bears, all that. I was expecting it to be very heavy on that, which I was absolutely there for but it was quite different and in a good way. He was so passionate and chatting away about climate change and the television industry needing to do more and storytellers needing to do more. And I just didn't expect this from, I guess that as a general issue divide because he's in his seventies. So, you know, it's not, it sounds a bit mad to say but really when he was doing all these things in his peak of his career, nobody would have been talking about climate change. But it would be impossible to think we're gonna film something in the Arctic now and not be thinking about what's going on with it. So there was just a huge difference and I felt our ideas around what we're both trying to do, but from such an age gap. So yeah, we met at this talk and I went up to the end and I said, hey, I'm also from Fife. And he thought it was pretty funny. And we just got on, just, I guess it's, you know what it is like in Scotland when you know someone from the same place, you just have this affinity. So we really got on and then we discovered we're both twins. So we had like quite a lot of like, niche things in common. Yeah, he's got a twin, I've got twin. So we had all these niche things in common and we just really got on like house on fire. So he's become certainly like a mentor of mine and just given me lots of advice over the last couple of years. And yeah, I basically came up with a project idea that would focus in on both local wildlife, us being from Fife and as I mentioned earlier again, we always think West Coast, West Coast for wildlife, but what about showing another side of Scotland? And I thought that both of us being from there, a pretty overlooked place. You could maybe say Fife is not known as like, oh, it's beautiful, let's make a TV show or film there. So I thought that that would be a really nice idea. And again, I thought we could bring a lot to the table in terms of Doug's knowledge. Well, he's one of the most experienced and highly regarded and award winning filmmakers in the world. So that amount of experience is just amazing to be around. And I think I've been gaining so much all the time from that. But also me bringing some new ideas to the table. I think, and I hope that it will make an interesting watch and spark some engaging conversations. So yeah, we've got that in the works at the minute and we've been developing it and working on it. And yeah, watch the space. I very much hope that it comes to fruition sooner than later. We've got a few more things to work out, but it's very much in the back burner and we're working away and chipping away all the time. So we're very much hoping to bring that project to life soon. And yeah, I'm really excited about it. It's amazing to spend time in Doug's company. He always says, like his main tip. He's always like, if you're not there, you won't get anything. So sometimes when I'm like when it's terrible weather or it's freezing or I've just been filming every day and I'm just maybe like aching sore, like I don't want to carry this heavy tripod out another day. He's always like, you know, in my mind, if you're not there, you won't get anything. And so I just always try and think of that to motivate myself to like always get out as much as possible and see what I can find.

Tim:

Good advice, even if you aren't there to film, just get outside. We all get trapped in our houses way too much as it is. Speaking of myself, looking out at the sunshine, out the window, I must get out later. I'm gonna ask you what might be a difficult question, Libby. Maybe not, but can you tell us about your favourite video or photograph that you've shot, or maybe your favourite species to try and get a picture of something? What have you found really rewarding to try and capture?

Libby:

Oh, Kirstin a little bit of this because she's heard my talk for the Scottish Royal Geographical Society, but the kingfisher was my arch nemesis for a long time. I put it on a pedestal. I maybe built it up too much, but I felt like I followed and really looked up to a lot of wildlife photographers and filmmakers, and they always had exceptional kingfisher shots. And I just felt that that was like a level unlocked, you know, like to get a kingfisher shot, you've moved into a different tier of wildlife photography because they're so hard to get footage of. And so I tried and tried for honestly over a year and I just, I saw it a couple of times, but I never managed to remotely get a shot of it. So it's the single species I've put in most effort to. And then just at the end of last year, it just all fell into place and it just like clicked. Like I was saying earlier about like you, you spend more time, you start to understand things a bit more. I just started to understand which times of day were the best, which branches it would maybe sit on. And it just started to fall into place that it was around for seconds long enough I could get the shots I needed. So I slowly over about a year and a half was able to build up a sequence of it. And that's what, part of that anyway, is what aired on Winterwatch. So super cool and very rewarding because there was definitely times where I thought, urgh, this kingfisher project of mine, I've given up on because I just need to move on. But then it was almost exactly when I reached a point where I was due to give up that I started to have the breakthroughs with it. So the kingfisher definitely has a special place in my heart of like a reminder of kind of not giving up. And it will all come together with a bit of hard work in the end. And now I see it frequently and again I don't always film it by any means now. I feel I've got a lot of shots of it and I've got a lot of videos, some stuff that no one's ever like seen, I've not shared yet and so I feel like now I can enjoy seeing it and I don't like panically think I must film this and I feel even happier about that now. I'm at a point where I just really enjoy seeing this bird. I think it's phenomenally interesting. Its behaviours are just like fascinating. Its colour, everything about it is kind of, yeah, I could endlessly watch it. It's one of the coolest animals in Scotland, for sure. So yeah, kingfisher is massively up there for me.

Kirstin:

It is, it's smaller in real life when you, I've only ever seen one in once and it was tiny.

Libby:

Tiny, absolutely tiny, which adds to the problem.

Kirstin:

Yeah, and I think when you see photos of it, it's not so much in context and you think, oh, like this beautiful bird, but yeah, you know that, and that was in Glasgow, wasn't it, that you filmed it?

Libby:

Yeah, yeah, in Glasgow. So again, in a very unexpected location because you just would not think something as delicate and beautiful as this is gonna be thriving in like, honestly, one of the busiest locations probably in the country actually. So quite an unexpected find. And yeah, just happy to have spent so much time in its company now.

Kirstin:

Mm-hmm, absolutely, yeah, it was definitely, definitely the hard work was worth it, because the photos, the end photos are brilliant.

Tim:

Do you have a new goal, species you haven't quite got the right shot of yet or not yet? Or are you happy just seeing what comes?

Libby:

That is a good question. I would say an otter. I've spent a lot of time filming an otter and I had an amazing experience two summers ago on Mull seeing the same otter actually very regularly over the course of a week and spent a lot of time filming some amazing hunting behaviours like wow, phenomenal seeing different prey it would bring back and I got a really nice sequence of it but I was shooting for a film project, so I was on video mode the whole time. So I actually, I don't think I took one still shot because I was very much there to film. And the photography would have been like a hobby bonus on the side, but I was there to get a sequence. So I'm very happy with the sequence. I managed to film a bit, but I've only got one photo that is even remotely usable and it still could be improved on. So getting some actual still shots of an otter would be next on my agenda of something I'd love to spend some time doing when the time are permit. But yeah, happy with the video stuff I've got, and a really nice, beautiful still is up there as something I'd like to capture.

Kirstin:

I'd love to see an otter in the wild. I've never ever seen one.

Libby:

Never?

Kirstin:

Never, never. And I've looked, but I've not, I've not actually dedicated enough time to sit and just, and you know, watch because, you know, Mull, Oban that kind of area I've been there quite a few times and I'm like, oh, one of these days it's perfect habitat.

Libby:

Well, I was getting up to see the otter, I was getting up at, I don't know, 3:30, 4 o'clock in the morning and I would finish up the sort of otter session, if you will, about 10am and then just go about the day doing other things. So it is like, because they're crepuscular, like dawn and dusk are your prime times, you know, and because of, again, I think I was filming it over the summer, so very little darkness anyway. Yeah, they are difficult. You have to really go out your way. Unless you're extremely lucky, you have to go out your way and to really dedicate the time to see them. So maybe that's why quite a lot of people haven't actually seen them yet. They're quite difficult. You're not gonna stumble upon it too easily.

Kirstin:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. It's just about planning, isn't it? So one day, one day. No, that's super. And, you know, I think you've answered this question, but I just like to ask all our guests this anyway. You know, we talk about getting outside more and what's the main kind of motivation, I suppose, beyond taking photos and videos? What really gets you outside every single day to you know make space for nature in your life, I suppose?

Libby:

I mean, it is the sheer enjoyment of it. We all love time indoors, you know, watching a film or TV show, but I think that time indoors, like nice and cozy and warm is, it feels a hundred times better when you've earned it because you've been out in the elements all day. So I can't see any situation where it's not improved. Like, yeah, everyone loves a night in, but it's definitely that night in feels even better when you've been out in the elements all day. So, and then when the weather is phenomenal, of course everyone wants to be outdoors my sort of mindset is I don't see any situation where spending more time outside is ever going to make anyone feel worse it's only going to make everyone feel better and in terms of our enjoyment of nature is a very like circular thing like we're not going to enjoy spending this time out in nature if we know that there is no wildlife and we're looking around and everything is decaying and not what it should be and we know our species are in trouble and it's not thriving and it's not lively. The reason it feels amazing is when you're walking through the woods and it's like bursting with life as well. And that's what like makes you feel good in your soul, if it will, I don't know, but the sort of bird song and just like the colours of it and like the sort of sun splitting the trees, those are all the elements that make it like a magic experience. So those are the elements that we need to cling onto and know that that's why we're making space for nature because it gives us so much as well. So it's a circular thing. And I think that the more sort of appreciation you have for that, the more that you want to give back. And then that just encourages others and it's a really beautiful circle when everyone sort of appreciates that and gets involved. So yeah, making space for nature is for nature, but we are very much part of that.

Tim:

Thank you so much, Libby. It's been really great having you on and listening to your enthusiasm for getting outdoors and capturing those moments and us enjoying the nature that's all around us, even in unexpected places. So we'll look forward to following you and seeing your next projects and hopefully those otter pictures in the future.

Libby:

Yeah, no, that's awesome. Thanks very much, NatureScot, for having me on board on all the projects. It's brilliant to be involved. So thanks for having me on the podcast.

Kirstin:

Thanks Libby. Thanks for listening. If you're enjoying Make Space for Nature, please follow it on your podcast app and leave a review or rating. We'd also love you to tell more people about the series. For more ways to connect with and help protect Scotland's natural world, go to nature.scot.

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