Europe contains natural treasures that provide endless inspiration, excitement, and enjoyment as well as supporting much of its economy. The EU-funded OPERAs research project spent five years working with policy makers, land managers and citizens to develop approaches to improve the management and protection of ecosystems across Europe to ensure we continue to benefit from these ecosystem services. We worked with researchers at the University of Edinburgh to help them visualise these ecosystem services in two Natural Treasure maps, one of Scotland and one of Europe (both of which are available as a public resource). Each map contains more than 100 examples so we had to work hard to ensure everything was covered in an accessible and, of course, visually appealing way.
We’ve been working with the University of Edinburgh since 2013, creating visuals that bring to life so much of the amazing work they do around climate and ecosystems, work that really makes a difference. For the Scotland map, our co-founder Chris attended an event celebrating five years of putting this research into practice, filling a map with as many images and ideas as it could take. From seaweed harvesting to the machair, tidal energy to the guga hunt, the sketch quickly filled up with all of the incredible natural treasures that Scotland has to offer. Back in London, one of our talented Scriberians turned the sketch into a beautiful poster that really brought to life the colour and energy of the Scottish environment.
We’re really proud to have created these artworks under the creative commons license that allows free distribution so that anyone can learn and be inspired by the natural treasures of Scotland and Europe.