Lochan Mor



14 September 2024
Perth Concert Hall, Perth, PH1 5HZ

The 2024 Big Picture Conference will bring together a diverse group of people united by a shared commitment to nature recovery. This year's inspirational lineup of speakers will cover a range of topics around the theme of ‘Why Not Scotland?’.  Join us for a fun and fulfilling day of presentations, learning opportunities and rewilding discussion. 

Conference ticket holders will also be invited to an exclusive online premiere of our Why Not Scotland? film taking place on Thursday 12 September.



Our inspirational line-up of speakers will cover a range of topics around this year’s theme of ‘Why Not Scotland?’. 

Download the full conference programme here


Photo of Christopher Preston

Christopher is an environmental philosopher, award-winning writer and public speaker based in Missoula, Montana in the USA. He grew up in England but moved to the States in his early twenties where he studied in Colorado and Oregon, while spending summers working in Alaska’s fishing industry. He recently authored Tenacious Beasts, a fascinating account of wildlife recoveries that prompt new ways of thinking about animals.

Christopher Preston Wildlife recoveries that change how we think about animals

Photo of Mary Colwell

Award-winning author, producer and acknowledged hero of the curlew, Mary is also a deep thinker around our relationship with wild nature. As more and more people mourn the decline in our living systems, Mary reflects on the long-term emotional consequences of environmental degradation and considers whether ecological grief is real. If so, is there a cure?

Mary Colwell The burden of ecological grief

Photo of Jenna Watt

In 2019, Jenna took part in the stalking of a red deer hind on a Highland estate: part of an immersive attempt to understand the ideas that lie behind rewilding, and what it means emotionally and physically to participate in shooting a deer. This exploration led her to better understand the meaning of 'wildness', the multiple facets of rewilding and its role in a future Scotland.

Jenna Watt Rewilding through the crosshairs

Photo of Dr Duncan Halley

Duncan has spent 30 years comparing the effects of different histories and politics on the landscapes and wildlife management of his native Scotland and his home in Norway. Usually, Norway comes off well in the comparison, but in its large predator management Norway’s system is conspicuously dysfunctional. With special reference to lynx, Duncan looks at this policy failure and the lessons it holds for species restoration in Scotland; and the lessons from other, successful frameworks.

Dr Duncan Halley Species restorations: how to get it right

Photo of Flo Blackbourn

Flo is studying gull migration, and is the central character in the Why Not Scotland? documentary that is released online today. She spent last summer exploring mainland Europe, where in many places, nature is making a dramatic recovery. People are returning too, finding new economic opportunities in a revitalised landscape. In the film, Flo asks “if rewilding can happen in Italy, Germany, Poland and Norway, could Scotland be next?” 

Flo Blackbourn Why Not Scotland? (panel session)

Photo of James Shooter

As a podcaster and storyteller, James has travelled throughout Europe exploring some of the continent’s most ambitious rewilding actions. The Rewild Podcast showcases bison returning to Romania, bears to Italy and lynx to Slovenia, whilst celebrating the passionate people fighting back for nature. Seeing the exciting work of pioneering initiatives across the continent, James’ thoughts cast back home to Scotland – can we too deliver on the ambition and scale seen elsewhere?

James Shooter Why Not Scotland? (panel session)

Photo of Sarah Watts

Sarah is a land manager and scientist with a passion for upland ecology and rare arctic-alpine flora. An advocate for reviving Scotland’s mountain woodland, she works on landscape-scale nature recovery at Corrour Estate in Lochaber, and is studying restoration projects across the country through her research at the University of Stirling. Sarah enthusiastically explains how bringing back the “wee trees” at altitude can benefit people, wildlife, and the fight against climate change.

Sarah Watts Restoring the wee trees

Photo of Richard Shucksmith

A Marine Biologist and photographer, Richard has spent the last 15 years observing orcas, or killer whales, in the seas around his home on Shetland. The islands are rightly famed for their cacophonous seabird colonies, but these rich waters support an abundance of life, which includes one of the world’s largest and most powerful predators.

Richard Shucksmith The killer amongst us

Photo of Lynn Cassells

Lynn is an author and co-owner of Lynbreck Croft, a 150 acre multi-award winning farming unit in the Cairngorms National Park. She is passionate about sharing transferable life lessons from Lynbreck; producing food for themselves and their local community, living in harmony with the seasons, farming with nature, physical and mental wellbeing and helping others to reconnect with the land.

Lynn Cassells Lessons for life from living wilder

Photo of Lee Schofield

Lee is an ecologist and the author of the award-winning book, Wild Fell: Fighting for Nature on a Lake District Hill Farm, which chronicles his experiences from a decade of working for the RSPB at Haweswater in the Lake District. In his day job for the Lowther Estate, he is helping to design and deliver a multi-partner landscape recovery scheme, aiming to create a connected corridor of nature-rich land covering 14,000ha.

Lee Schofield Fighting for Nature on a Lake District Hill Farm


Photo of Kirsten Brewster and Dr Martin Gaywood

With a background in beaver management in Scotland, Kirsten Brewster is now SBP’s Wildlife Comeback Lead, working to drive forward a range of species restoration initiatives. In this session, she will be joined by Dr Martin Gaywood, Senior Researcher at the University of Highlands and Islands and recent Churchill Fellow to discuss Scotland’s journey towards restoring missing species, focusing on progress to date and ambition for the future.

Kirsten Brewster and Dr Martin Gaywood Beavers bouncing back – what next?

Photo of Helen Senn

Helen is the head of Conservation and Science at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the lead for the Saving Wildcats project. She is passionate about species recovery and, in this session, she will give an insight into what is involved in bringing back Scotland's last cat species from the brink of extinction.

Helen Senn The return of the wildcat

Photo of Duncan and Maja Pepper

With backgrounds in land management, fish science, green engineering and soil ecology, Duncan (ecologist) and Maja (geomorphologist) run RiverRevivers.co.uk, a river restoration provider which aims to maximise river life and health. With a shared passion for wildness, Duncan and Maja want to see Scotland maximising its ecological potential and will share with us why they see rivers as a quick win.

Duncan and Maja Pepper Wilding a river

Photo of Jura MacMillan

An opportunity for those considering a career in rewilding to hear the experiences of one inspirational person who is currently working in the field. Following her study of rewilding at Glasgow University and a subsequent internship with Seawilding, Jura now works as an Environmental Consultant for peatland restoration consultancy Caledonian Climate. This session will include a Q&A.

Jura MacMillan Rewilding Pathways: Studying, Volunteering and Careers


Perth Concert Hall
Mill Street, Perth, PH1 5HZ

Perth Concert Hall is an accessible, award-winning, contemporary entertainment hub in the heart of the city. The Big Picture Conference will take place in the large, modern auditorium, with state-of-the-art visuals and sound. Outside of the main theatre, an airy glass foyer will be home to the Rewilding Market and interval refreshments, providing a superb space for meeting and mingling. There is free Wi-Fi throughout the building, excellent transport links and secure parking nearby (Kinnoull Street Multi Storey Car Park). 


For lunch, a vegan poke box, with fresh fruit and fruit juice, is available to purchase alongside your ticket - please let us know any other dietary requirements when booking. Alternatively, if you’d rather a change of scenery at lunch time, there are other eateries and shops within easy walking distance of the venue.

Tea/coffee and biscuits will be served on arrival and during the afternoon break, which is included in the price of your ticket.

The venue’s deli counter will be open, selling hot and cold drinks and snacks, if you would like anything extra.


A range of local accommodation is available nearby, including the Premier Inn, right next door to the venue, and The Salutation Hotel and The Mercure within walking distance.


We are grateful to the following organisations who make this event possible. You can visit our sponsors throughout the event in our Rewilding Market, where they will host an array of stalls and exhibition stands.



  • Scottish Badgers


We are currently seeking sponsors for the Big Picture Conference 2024. If you’d like to join us and raise your profile across the rewilding and land management community we'd love to hear from you.