A NORTH Ayrshire writer is embarking on a month-long journey through Scotland’s mountains in preparation for his new book.

Alex Boyd is exploring the cultural history of Scotland’s mountains and hills as he hopes to tell the story of artists who visited and depicted these places.

Through the book, he hopes to make mountains and hills accessible by allowing the reader to experience them without physically visiting the site.

The John Muir Trust has supported Alex’s journey with funding from the Des Rubens and Bill Wallace Grant which is available for people looking to undergo transformative experiences in the wild.

Alex said: “I’m absolutely delighted to receive the Des Rubens and Bill Wallace Grant which will allow me to complete an exploration of the mountains of Scotland.

“The grant will make a big difference to my project as it provides the support I need to experience the peaks that inspired some of our greatest artists, musicians and writers.

READ MORE: 'Youth Champion' sets out vision to make positive change for North Ayrshire's young people

“I hope I can live up to the example that Des Rubens and Bill Wallace set for all those that explore the outdoors.”

Alex’s book will not document Scotland’s highest mountains, but rather its most historically significant peaks.

He was inspired by the Japanese writer Kyya Fukada who wrote the iconic ‘100 Mountains of Japan’ in 1964.

After his journey, Alex will continue researching the mountains further and aims to have the book ready for 2023.

Jenny Seaman, the John Muir Trust’s fund-raising officer, said: “The grant panel were inspired by Alex’s thoughtful project and alternative take on accessing and engaging with Scotland’s mountains.

“We are delighted to be able to support his research and hope his work encourages new audiences to take an interest in Scotland’s wild places.”

Alex has previously published the book ‘St Kilda The Silent Islands’, which was shortlisted for a Saltire Literary Prize.

He is also a prolific photographer with his work focusing on Scottish landscapes.

Alex is perhaps best known for his series ‘Sonnets’, a collaboration with the late Makar (Poet Laureate) Edwin Morgan, which shows a faceless figure in the landscape.

Currently, Alex is completing a PhD on the Scottish Defence Estate and the Environment.