Sir David Attenborough's cameraman has said that the public should view rare wildlife in remote locations through virtual reality headsets to protect the planet.
Blue Planet cameraman Doug Allan has said that modern wildlife documentaries should embrace new technologies, such as virtual reality, to curb viewers from visiting the remote locations themselves.
“Showing people the wonders of the natural world, there’s no doubt we have been part of this wave of people going to see those kinds of places for themselves,” he told the Telegraph.
“I think now I’d like to see a form of wildlife film making that accepts responsibility for giving people the knowledge and offers them the option of not going there.
“New technology can do that, virtual reality has a real possibility of giving people a massively meaningful experience without them leaving the comfort of their own chair.”
In 2018 a virtual reality project by Sky VR turned Sir David Attenborough into a 3D hologram and allowed users to explore prohibited areas of the Natural History Museum.
Mr Allan would like to see similar technology replicated on home screens, as wildlife tourism is a “big responsibility on our side”.
The BAFTA award-winning cameraman added that sustainable tourism should be the goal and would mean allowing communities to “develop at the rate that they want” with tourists becoming “sensitive to how and where they travel”.
The 68-year-old believes that more planes and credit cards have also contributed to the rise in wildlife tourism.
Mr Allan became a wildlife photographer after a chance meeting with Sir David Attenborough in the Antarctic in 1981, where, aged 30 at the time, he was working as a biologist.
“David and his film crew arrived on base from HMS Endurance and I thought these boys are doing exactly what I like doing,” he said.
He has since worked on 65 films as well as with Sir David on the BBC’s Blue Planet and Frozen Planet.
But the Scotsman said that “hard-hitting” films like Attenborough’s latest documentary the Netflix special Our Planet would be “out of date” in a couple of years because climate issues were “rapidly moving”.
“A lot of wildlife films are made to have a long shelf life and if they don’t tackle these issues they will still be shareable in 20 years,” he said.
But a film with “all the high-end behavioural sequences in it that Blue Planet had” with a “strong environmental message” will have gone out of date “after four or five years”.
Often sent to remote locations, Mr Allan said that plastic has affected the far corners of the Earth.
“These are some of the most remote islands in the world, no one lives there now but the amount of plastic on the beach and covering the shore was so disappointing.
“When you get a big storm surge the waves will practically run across the island so the plastic waste gets carried from the high-water mark in amongst the plants.
“There may have been stuff that came from the UK that ended up on that beach,” he added.
Mr Allan is currently promoting a new film series exploring the stories of people whose lives are shaped by the sea for Scottish whiskey brand Old Pulteney.
Old Pulteney currently heats 250 homes across Wick in North Scotland by re-using their water waste.
Mr Allan said he would never leave civilisation for week-long shoots without “a bottle or two of what you like”.
“There’s nothing better than sitting back at night and thinking we nailed that shot today and to get a bottle out and share it around amongst friends.''
Doug Allan is an ambassador for Old Pulteney and its new Rise With The Tide film series. To view the film visit www.OldPulteney.com