In Tune with Nature

The Final Cuts

NatureScot and Fèis Rois partnered up on a competition to inspire people to connect with nature through music. Entrants aged 16 and over were invited to compose a piece of music inspired by one of 10 National Nature Reserves across Scotland. The competition was judged by a panel of well-known faces from the Scottish music industry, including Julie Fowlis; Vic Galloway; Gill Maxwell; and Karine Polwart, and is part of the celebrations for the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020.

Winners received a £500 cash prize along with the opportunity to collaborate with a professional filmmaker to make a film on the National Nature Reserve which inspired their music. These films are all now complete and ready for you to enjoy below!

The 12 winning artists are:

Beinn Eighe

Marie Fielding - Beinn Eighe – In Tune With Nature
Click for a full description

"In Tune with Nature has been incredibly inspiring and emotional. The film captures Beinn Eighe's shapes, shadows, movement and stillness. My composition reflects time, past, present and future, which nature also does, in its own special way."



"There's something about the moody, constantly shifting light at Caerlaverock, which I’ve tried to capture in 'Without', a song which is at times a monologue and others dialogue. I’m captivated by the mudflats and the meeting of the sky and the sea which stretches across your whole field of vision."

Creag Meagaidh


"All my life I've been drawn to the hills around Fort Augustus – to write about Creag Meagaidh was not something I did lightly. I feel privileged to contribute a piece of music connected with such an incredible part of the highlands."



"'Gaither' reflects Forvie's changing role through history in supporting its inhabitants and visitors. People have been living and harvesting along this coastline since the Mesolithic period. In the 12th century, Forvie was a thriving farming village until advancing sands made it unsustainable to live there."

Isle of May


"‘May Alone' is a conversation between the Isle of May’s breeding seabirds in this busy month, and our frustrations during the Covid pandemic. As humans miss being able to visit places where we receive solace, the isle’s seabirds may benefit from the lack of visitors. We need nature. But does nature need us?"

Loch Leven


"Some 400 years ago, Mary, Queen of Scots spent a year in the now ruinous castle on the island at Loch Leven. This song imagines a conversation between Mary and her lady in waiting as, inspired by curlews viewed from her window, she dreams of escape."



"I wanted to reflect both the outstanding beauty of the scenery and the need to protect the ecosystem at Noss. The music aims to reflect the Island's isolation, clifftop beauty and soaring birds, yet also the sadness should the delicate balance on this little piece of paradise be lost."

Rum (Joint winner)


"'Western Tidal Swell' is inspired by the Isle of Rum's rich nature, bothies, beaches, conservation and history. Along with a folktale from Edwin Waugh’s ‘The Limping Pilgrim’, about a Rum-native, banished to Coll, who pined to drink water from Rum's Old Kilmory Well until the day he closed his eyes forever."

Rum (Joint winner)


"Thinking of times I've seen Mull on the ferry to Lochboisdale brought to mind imagery of a simple life, free of daily concerns, far removed from a life in national lockdown! The mood lifts in the final section, a reminder that I'd see Mull again, and how grateful I feel to live in a country of such natural beauty."

Taynish (Joint winner)


"My piece is made up of field recordings of the sea, a soundscape using smallpipes, fiddle and whistle, and an improvised Piobaireachd-style tune composed in response to my sensorial memories of Taynish as a child."

Taynish (Joint winner)


"Our piece, 'Dealan-Dé', is inspired by the extremely rare marsh-fritillary butterfly. Taynish National Nature Reserve is one of the very few places in Scotland where this beautiful creature can be seen."



Barney Bridges is a Belgian musician living in Glasgow. His passion for music started at the age of 10 when he first picked up a guitar. Since then his growing fascination has led him to become a luthier creating unique instruments for other musicians.