penduline tit blog-1

Penduline tit, South Moravia, Czech Republic

I am a writer and photographer with a focus on the wildlife and landscapes of southern England and western Ireland. I am supportive of projects in the Czech Republic, Romania and Poland. Here I aim to promote these places and causes and to discuss the natural world through writing supported by my photographs. Please have a look at my Conservation page for information on how you can help specific projects.

For conservation to be a success in Europe I feel it has to have people at its heart. The notion of people building lives away from wildlife and nature is one I am deeply suspicious of, so too the arguments that people are intrinsically bad for the environment. We are all dependent on the land and environment. We have to strike a balance between the changing human world and a declining wild one. The unavoidable truth is that nature, wildlife and biodiversity is central to human economies and must be preserved for our species to exist. The role of bees in pollinating crops is the single most compelling example of this.

The arts of photography and poetry are two which I enjoy and my central desire is to connect more closely with nature through these media. The photographic technology now available to most people in Britain and Europe gives us the chance to see things that our ancestors could never see, and to share these images in ways that could not once have been imagined. I believe we should use this opportunity to celebrate nature and its vital role in our lives.

My creative projects focus on core landscapes:

North Downs diary

FD may blog-2

I am a regular visitor to the North Downs on the edge of London. For the past four years I have been writing short pieces about walking the downs, photographing its wildlife and trying to learn as much as I can about its geological, human and natural history. My North Downs diary page collects many of these threads together. The North Downs Way is a national trail that runs from Farnham to Dover. I am walking parts of the trail again and again, backwards and sometimes upside down.

Woodlands

English bluebell

Woods are my core interest. Through working and walking in woods I aim to explore the historical, ecological and symbolic importance it holds for people. My principal regional areas of interest are the remnant ancient woods of south London, otherwise known as the Great North Wood, the woods of western Ireland, the spruce forests of central and eastern Europe and the Caledonian pine forests. On my website I post pieces exploring our relationship with woods. I would encourage anyone with an interest in the places I cover to add comments and any further information you may have.

Other articles:

John Keats and how nature makes us feel so small

Galloway

The beaver’s work

In search of Mayo’s native woodlands

Wild goats

Somewhere between a cuckoo and a high speed train

Mid-Colne valley

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