My interest in wildlife started from an early age. As a child and young adult I would explore the nature of the moors, woodland and coast around our home in Devon, England.
My father introduced me to photography and provided the equipment and chemicals to develop and print my own black-and-white pictures. For several years I borrowed by his Agfa and Carl Zeiss compact cameras. My first SLR was a Russian made Zenith E.
In addition to my interest in photography, I developed a passion for painting watercolours. My photographs often provided the subject matter for the scenes and wildlife I painted. I enjoyed a series of successful exhibitions in local galleries.
I completed a degree in Biological Sciences, and it was at University that I developed an interest in voluntary conservation work.
I am volunteer reserve manager for the Somerset Wildlife Trust site at Lynchcombe, and so the reserve features heavily in my pictures. Its commanding views, flowers and butterflies provide a rich feast for any photographer.
Lynchcombe is on the sunny south-west facing slopes of the Mendip scarp. The site is mainly grassland meadow, with thin soil and frequent limestone outcrops. Here common rock-rose and wild thyme are found. Where the soils are deeper, and so more neutral, plants such as devil's-bit scabious flourish. The reserve has a good butterfly population including meadow brown, common blue , marbled white and speckled wood.
Fortunately for my interest in dragonflies the Mendip Hills and Somerset Levels provide many excellent streams and ponds where damsel and dragonflies are numerous. With my eldest son, I regularly submit species records to the British Dragonfly Society. A highlight of recent times was our re-discovery of the Small-red damselfly - once thought to be extinct in Somerset. We photographed it with great excitement!
Since moving to Somerset I have refocused my interest in art and photography. I spend time exploring the moors, woodlands and meadows around my home, often out before the rest of the family on cold mornings to catch a sunrise. I consider myself a nature and landscape artist, and my specialism in the summer months is macro work - focusing on dragonflies, butterflies and flowers in the local nature reserves. In the winter I turn to landscapes, watching the weather forecast in the hope of snow.
I have been an active member of the British Dragonfly Society for a number of years, recording species numbers around local ponds and streams. I have also restarted voluntary conservation work and am the manager of a grassland reserve on the side of the Mendip hills. To help with butterfly transit work for Somerset Wildlife I have recently joined Butterfly Conservation.
As my father introduced me to photography, so to am I opening my sons eyes to the pleasures of taking photographs. My eldest son often keeps me company on my journeys around the Mendip Hills, Moors and Levels.