Last week I embarked on what I hope will turn out to be a major project on the subject of the Scottish landscape and one gamekeeper's relationship to it. This subject is one with many bones of contention for all people interested, not least the gamekeeper himself.
The first week turned out to be a relatively hard task, mentally, as the enormity of the job dawned on me. Not only is there the daily family life and the various tasks that a gamekeeper is responsible for, there is also the political side of the work - some see the management of Scottish estates as damaging to the ecosystem and, in some circumstances, cruel - and of course the financial situation for the individuals involved. Others consider the health of the ecosystem in part attributable to the influence of good land management (with a little help from reintroduction and protection schemes, of course!).
So - how can I produce a coherent project from all the facets that face me? There are raptor stories, trapping stories, farming stories, blood sport stories and even taxidermy stories that are all equally viable in coming to a final project, and I have the time to gather all the stories together, but who would look at them, and which ones would people like to see and find out more about?
Please let me know, either privately or by commenting below, as I think a healthy debate in the creation of this project is as essential as the debate itself.