Riverwoods is the story of a fish that lives in the forest. And in the soil that feeds the forest. And in the predators, scavengers and even herbivores of the forest. Scotland’s Atlantic salmon - the King of Fish - is not only the ultimate angler’s prize, but a key building block in a complex forest ecosystem.
But in return, salmon need the support of a rich and diverse landscape that stretches far beyond the banks of the river. Over many centuries, the loss of Scotland’s natural woodlands, and much of the wildlife that shaped them, has profoundly changed our rivers and their ability to support the huge salmon runs that once flourished. Today, this magnificent creature so symbolic of Scotland’s spectacular, cascading rivers, is threatened like never before.
The Atlantic salmon embodies all the challenges woven into the climate and biodiversity crises. Scotland’s upland rivers are getting warmer and the salmon, so dependent on clean, cold water, are crying out for the woodlands that once shaded and fed them.
The left of the illustration above mirrors the bare, depleted river catchments we have come to accept as normal. On the right, a glimpse of what our river systems could look like - a vibrant, complex, wooded landscape abundant in life.
Three years in the making, Riverwoods is a feature-length documentary that shines a light on the perilous state of Scotland’s salmon and tells the compelling story of an inextricable relationship between fish and forest.
We’ve brought together a group of expert scientists, writers and filmmakers to tell a story of loss and lament, but also one of hope. Throughout Scotland, the fractured connections between salmon and the landscapes through which their rivers flow, are gradually being repaired through the foresight and positive actions of many different people.
Riverwoods is a rallying call for restoring more of Scotland’s river catchments and all the life they support.
The salmon need the forest. The forest needs the salmon. And Scotland needs them both.
We wish to acknowledge the generosity of the following individuals and organisations who have supported the making of the Riverwoods documentary.
The European Nature Trust, Woodland Trust Scotland, The Carman Family Foundation, Anne Reece, Tom Heber-Percy and The Ecology Trust.
RIVERWOODS: THE SCREENING TOUR
In March 2022, Riverwoods will embark on a screening tour across Scotland. Dates and venues are as follows:
- Edinburgh | Royal College of Physicians (18 March)
- Wick | Lyth Arts Centre (21 March)
- Aviemore | Macdonald Aviemore Resort (25 March)
- Banchory | The Barn (28 March)
- Peebles | Eastgate Theatre (30 March)
- Helmsdale | Timespan (4 April)
- Dumfries | Theatre Royal (7 April)
- Perth | Perth Theatre (21 April)
- Fort William | Highland Cinema (28 April)
- Stornoway | An Lanntair (3 May)
- Drumnadrochit | Glenurquhart Hall (20 May) | BOOK
- London | British Film Institute (24 May) | BOOK
Tickets are free of charge (excluding London). Please note that pre-booking is recommended to guarantee entry and avoid a £10 door charge.
We wish to acknowledge the generosity of the following individuals and organisations who are supporting the Riverwoods screening tour.
The European Nature Trust, Cairngorms National Park Authority, Cairngorms Connect, The Fishmongers Company, Dee Catchment Partnership, Tweed Forum, McGowan Environmental, Scottish Wild Beaver Group.
RIVERWOODS: INDEPENDENT FILM SCREENINGS
"I cannot stop thinking about this film. It’s an inspiring story about how everything is interconnected."
"Riverwoods is a film that every single person in Scotland should see.“
From May 2022, the Riverwoods documentary can be licenced for both public and private screenings within the UK. Due to broadcast restrictions, Riverwoods is not currently available for public online viewing, but online screenings can be requested and will be delivered via a password-protected link. (running time is 55 mins.)
RIVERWOODS: THE INITIATIVE
The Riverwoods initiative is a broad partnership of organisations, focused on restoring healthy river systems and increasing the ecological connectivity between land and rivers.
The partnership brings together pioneering projects that are already recovering and reconnecting river woodlands across Scotland, to tackle the twin challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change, showcasing their successes and creating blueprints for others.