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Life In 360°: Beavers and Bagpipes

Nature is pretty wonderful and it’s always a pleasure when there’s something a little different to show you here on Life In 360° that you may not have previously seen.  What you have previously seen in this instance is the location and the people behind the video. We’re back in Scotland with the team from Bristol-based 360° natural history production house Biome Productions. It was they who were responsible for the two-part series Wild Tour: The Cairngorms which we featured on VRFocus at the tail end of last month and the beginning of this one.

Life In 360° / 360 Degree VideoThis time we’re talking about our buck toothed, wood chomping friends: beavers. You may not think of beavers as a Scottish animal, and are more inclined to link them with Canada and you’d be right to think that way… well, taking modern history into account.  In actuality the UK was home to Beavers only until very recently in history, and conservation groups have been working to reintroduce around the UK – and in particular Scotland.

Now as you can imagine, reintroducing a species that was native to the ecosystem and was effectively hunted to extinction in the country isn’t a simple process. Moreover. some five hundred years after the last beaver in Scotland was killed what right do humans have to meddle with the ecology of the forest in such a direct way. Isn’t inserting an animal into the natural order in many ways just as destructive to the harmony of the forest as removing said animal five centuries ago? It’s certainly a controversial subject for many.  To that end we’re off to Argyll in Scotland with Anthony De Unger to find out just what benefits there are to introducing wild Eurasian beavers to the British Isles. A species that just cut down trees and clog up water supplies with dams… don’t they?

“Scotland is infamous for its rain, even in the height of the summer. Our team and our unwaterproofed rigs can now confidently confirm that this is in fact, true.” Jokes the studio in their summary of the main challenges regarding the film. “The main challenge was certainly working around these deluges in what was already a tight shoot. The final shot of the film, the close up of the wild beaver, was no easy feat. The crew met someone that’s been on the reserve weekly for the last five years and still hasn’t seen one! With the help of a local guide, they managed to tempt Milly the beaver up onto the bank with small pieces of apple next to our camera rig, whilst they were sitting in the car praying it doesn’t rain. Using some elegant continuous recording solutions, they managed to leave rigs recording for four hours to make absolutely sure they filmed this key moment.”

No animals were harmed during the making of this film. That said ten apples were apparently consumed by beavers:  You can check out the video below and VRFocus will be back with another example of 360 degree video on Monday at the usual time.