Archive for UK Wildlife

British Wildlife Photography Awards 2012…

Posted in Photography, UK Wildlife, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by Neil Aldridge

Entries are now being welcomed for the 2012 British Wildlife Photography Awards. This is your chance to win a share of the total prize fund of £20,000 – with the overall winner walking away with a £5,000 cash prize.

I am proud to be judging this year’s competition alongside some of the biggest names in the UK wildlife photography industry. Visit the BWPA website and familiarise yourself with the categories now – you still have until the 12th of May 2012 to create your shots and get your entries in. New categories for 2012 include the ‘Wild Woods’ category which is sponsored by VisitWoods and aims to celebrate the beauty, importance and sheer splendour of British woods. With spring approaching, use the VisitWoods website to find your nearest wood or forest and get that award-winning shot.

Join other photographers following BWPA on Twitter and keep up to date with competition news and announcements through the BWPA Facebook page. You can see my 2011 winning documentary series of a country shoot along with more of my work on my main website www.conservationphotojournalism.com

Badger vaccination photos on NHPA…

Posted in Conservation, Conservation Photography, European Wildlife, Photography, UK Wildlife, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

Tying in with this week’s controversial announcement by the Government that Badger culling trials are to commence in England in 2012, my photographs of badger bTB vaccination trials are now available online through NHPA and Photoshot. Search on either site for ‘badger vaccination’ to find the images available or  contact me directly.

The shots were taken as part of a BBC Wildlife Magazine cover story tackling the ‘cull versus cure’ issue back in the autumn. The feature looked into the Badger Vaccine Deployment Project being undertaken by Fera as a trial to understand the viability of vaccinating badgers (instead of or alongside the proposed cull) to protect cattle from bovine tuberculosis (bTB). An edit of this portfolio can be seen on my website and on the magazine’s website discoverwildlife.com.

Learn more on my main website conservationphotojournalism.com

Badgers: To cull or vaccinate?

Posted in Conservation, Conservation Photography, European Wildlife, UK Wildlife, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

Neither the governments of England nor Wales seem to know what to make of the science, advice and opinion at their fingertips surrounding the culling of badgers. What’s more, the vaccination of badgers against TB seems to be overlooked as an alternative in many discussions. Want to make your own mind up? Check out this month’s BBC Wildlife Magazine for a news piece by Julian Rollins on culling plans in England, illustrated by one of my shots from my recent Badger vaccination shoot with BBC Wildlife in Gloucestershire. Be sure to get next month’s issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine to see the whole special investigation feature on Fera’s Badger Vaccine Deployment Project.

Visit my main website at www.conservationphotojournalism.com

Ospreys aplenty

Posted in Conservation Photography, European Wildlife, Photography, UK Wildlife, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

Those of you who read my last post and followed my tweets will know that I recently set myself the challenge of bettering my previous attempts at photographing ospreys hunting. For this, I needed a reliable location where I knew ospreys would be literally queuing up to catch food for their newly-hatched chicks. There are a few locations on the continent renowned for giving photographers the chance to work close to the action but Scotland’s Rothiemurchus estate on the outskirts of Aviemore and the Cairngorms National Park certainly ticks all of the boxes.

My first sighting of an osprey hunting was actually en route to Aviemore. Having stopped at the Scottish Wildlife Trust‘s Loch of the Lowes reserve near Dunkeld to see the resident female sitting on the nest, I couldn’t have been more than a couple of miles up the road before I found the male hunting along the River Tay. He must have gone down for fish five times in the time I watched him from my car, frustrated that I couldn’t find somewhere to pull over.

My frustrations were short-lived however and at first light the next morning I found myself frantically climbing into my hide with two ospreys scoping out the offerings of the Rothiemurchus lochs from above. Unfortunately, the changeable Scottish weather meant plenty of white cloud – nightmare conditions for photographing a predominantly black-and-white bird. When the sun did break through the clouds however, the light was fantastic and I often found my eyes wandering off to admire the Cairngorms reflecting proudly in the still waters rather than watching the skies for approaching ospreys.

My time at Rothiemurchus perhaps didn’t yield exactly what I had hoped for – the high quality shot of an osprey emerging from the water with a fish in its talons – although I must say that was through no fault of Speyside Wildlife and Rothiemurchus who between them provide what must be one of the UK’s top wildlife watching opportunities. Two ospreys carried off fish and there were several other failed plunges during my time by the lochs. Only two hunts happened within view however, and both were at quite a distance in dull morning light. That said, I think I can safely say that I have met my challenge and bettered the only shots of an osprey in my portfolio.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to test your photographic skills, then I couldn’t recommend a trip to Aviemore and Rothiemurchus more highly, particularly as the site plays a vital role in sustaining a healthy and renowned local population of these special birds of prey. Ospreys were extirpated from the UK by 1916 but now, almost a century later, it’s clear they’re safely established once again thanks to the hard work of organisations like the RSPB and people like Roy Dennis.

Visit my main website at www.conservationphotojournalism.com

Signs of spring

Posted in Conservation, European Wildlife, Photography, Take Action, UK Wildlife, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

Despite a bitter winter in western Europe, the dry start to 2011 has meant that many typical signs of spring are appearing early in the UK. Looking back, the impressive ‘supermoon’ that appeared in the night sky on the northern hemisphere spring equinox should have been a clear indicator that this year’s season of growth was going to be something special.

Spring means different things to different people. For some, it’s the return of swallows from Africa. For others, it’s the burst of colour as bluebells carpet our woodland. Whatever your favourite sign of spring may be, in our changing climate it is more important than ever to record these moments to map how our wildlife is adapting or being affected. If you are out and about in the UK and you’re seeing butterflies or hearing cuckoos then you can help build a picture of spring by logging what you’re seeing via the VisitWoods website.

For me, spring came alive in Suffolk over the Easter weekend as I was fortunate to hear my first booming bittern. The males of this red status bird only make this far-carrying call in the spring but the rarity of the species in the UK means that few people get to hear it. I also tracked down and saw my first cuckoo of the year after following its distinctive call. Hobby falcons skillfully catching dragonflies overhead and adders basking in the sun were unexpected but equally compelling.

After the cold and dark winter, the vibrant colours of spring are just as evocative to our senses as the sounds, smells and antics across the country. The brilliant yellow of gorse and the breathtaking blue of carpets of bluebells have inspired me to find, enjoy and photograph (in that order) as many signs of spring as possible. I’ll be adding images to the dedicated Signs of Spring portfolio on my main website as I go, so be sure to check it out.

Visit my main website at www.conservationphotojournalism.com

Northern light

Posted in European Wildlife, Photography, UK Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by Neil Aldridge

As the January gloom took hold, I decided to head north for some inspiration. You can see some of my landscape photographs from Scotland and Northern England in the gallery pages of my main website at conservationphotojournalism.com

When the sun licks the landscapes of Scotland and North Yorkshire, I’m always reminded of the opportunities that the UK has to offer photographers. It is little wonder that true masters of landscape photography like Joe Cornish photograph few other locations. I, on the other hand, am readily drawn home to the wilds of Africa where the biodiversity and therefore the opportunities are perhaps more varied. Conscious of my carbon footprint however, I am seeking out more and more opportunities within the UK and Europe when I can and getting results from expeditions like this latest trip north may be harder fought but they are just as rewarding.

Visit my main website at www.conservationphotojournalism.com

British Wildlife Photography Awards

Posted in Conservation Photography, European Wildlife, Exhibition, Photography, UK Wildlife, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2010 by Neil Aldridge

One of my white-tailed eagle photographs from my last visit to Skye will be featured in the winning portfolio of the 2010 British Wildlife Photography Awards. All of the winning and commended photographs will form part of a series of exhibitions, launching at London’s Hooper’s Gallery on the 14th of October. The portfolio of images are also available for the first time in a book. For a full schedule of the UK-wide exhibition tour, visit the BWPAwards website. My main site conservationphotojournalism.com features more of my work on white-tailed eagles.

Visit my main website at www.conservationphotojournalism.com