After a year of city living, marine biologist and professional diver Monty Halls returns to live the rural life in the Highlands and islands of Scotland.
Monty has a job to do, as a volunteer wildlife ranger.
Moving into a recently renovated traditional thatched crofter’s cottage, Monty starts with the basics – bringing in pigs and turkeys to fatten up for Christmas – while immersing himself in fishing, peat cutting, highland games and other highlights of the brief summer months. During his time on the west coast of Scotland in Beachcomber Cottage he was readily accepted, but island communities can be far harder to crack.
To prove he’s not just here for a holiday, Monty takes on the voluntary role of countryside ranger, whose job is to help with communal crofting activities, such as sheep gathering, run conservation projects and look after the wildlife through the islands. When the money to fund this position ran out in 2003, the islanders became reliant on volunteers to fill the position. Monty happily takes on this role, but has he got what it takes?
From the beauty of the summer months – with the orchids and other wild flowers that carpet the grasslands, to the shocking violence of the storms during the short winter days, Monty needs to learn to adapt to his environment, and prove useful to a community that relies upon the members working together in order to survive.
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