Acclaimed photo duo Peter Cairns and Mark Hamblin have spent three years capturing outstanding images of Britain’s wild predators and recording all the views comments and prejudices of the great British public along the way
Tooth & Claw: Living Alongside Britain’s Predators is a self-funded project with a single ambition; to create a better understanding of predator ecology, their role in our lives and the often challenging issues that surround them.
Said Peter Cairns: “We’ve spent a lot of time really getting under the skin of attitudes to predators. In modern Britain the word ‘predator’ means different things to different people. Some see these animals and birds as true spectacles of the natural world and the key to the ecological integrity of our countryside. Others see them as an inconvenient drain on rural businesses. Very few of us remain indifferent."
"There are underlying messages running through the book and we hope to engage and encourage people to take a closer, more informed look at their own interaction with nature. If they do, then we will have succeeded.”
He added; “We have no political agenda, which is hard for many people to accept – but impartiality has been the key to a wide range of organisations and individuals talking to us. Our role is to inform rather than persuade.”
Added Mark Hamblin: “There are some very powerful images in this book but we are not setting out to shock or sensationalise. Things happen in nature for a whole host of reasons but there is no such thing as a ‘good’ or a ‘bad’ animal. People make their own value-judgements but we would simply encourage them to be made on more factual grounds than is presently the case."
"We’ve spoken to scores of farmers, gamekeepers, researchers, biologists and tourism operators along the way and they are all supportive of what we are trying to do with Tooth & Claw. There is a lot of common ground whether you are a shooter and angler or a birdwatcher. We are looking to change perceptions rather than seek immediate universal solutions.”
Johnny Birks, mammalogist and consultant ecologist said: “With our once-beleaguered predators recovering at last and arguments about reintroducing long-lost species, we urgently need antidotes to the entrenched polarisation of opinion about co-existence with our wild competitors. At long last we have one with Tooth & Claw – a catalyst for brave new thinking.”