This is the book I always wanted to make (it's also the first book where I could indulge in writing). In other words this book has been in the making for almost two decades. After I had finished my first book "The Fertile Rock - Seasons in the Burren" I wanted to explore Ireland's nature further, the mountains, the peatlands, the forests, the coast and anything that grows, crawls, runs, hops and flies there.
Unfortunately nature wasn't all that popular back then - also reflected in the demise of a wonderful magazine called "Wild Ireland" at the time - and I received one "sorry, but..." letter after another. Eventually the idea went into the drawer and stayed there while I was making books featuring beautiful landscapes so visitors to Ireland would have something to take home and photographing more of the same for tourism companies and their advertising campaigns.
Then words like "climate change" and "biodiversity loss" found their way more and more into the minds of people. And I reached my breaking point. I just couldn't face another project snapping the same scenic landscapes and more active and happy people so I hit the reset button and started doing what I really care about: exploring, photographing and writing about the natural world. This coincided with the start of the Covid-19 pandemic which meant any tourism related endeavour went out of business.
By the end of the second lockdown I had finished the first draft for "Wild Ireland" and presented the work to the O'Brien Press who, after very little resistance, took the book under their wings and here we are.
I can honestly say this is the best book I have ever made (I might be a bit biased tough) and I might even go so far to claim that it's an important book published at the right time.
My generation was taught that we are evolution's crowning achievement and that everything else only exists to serve us. This is wrong. If anything we are an evolutionary mishap, the first species that systematically destroys the foundations that ensure its survival. However more and more people realize what is going on and that we fundamentally have to change the way we think about and behave towards the world around us. In the end we are just another species (although a rather clever and inventive one) and a mere part of a greater network that we are just beginning to understand and that sustains us.
I hope that "Wild Ireland" helps towards the understanding and appreciation of the natural world on the little island of Ireland and, yes, despite my rambling there are some nice landscape images in the book...
"Wild Ireland" will be in the shops from May.
Carsten Krieger, April 2023