Archive for UK

A quick blog on fox hunting…

Posted in Conservation, European Wildlife, UK Wildlife, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2013 by Neil Aldridge

So this short blog post is a result of a recent conversation I had with somebody about fox hunting. The conversation was civil and chatty enough but the underlying debate was based on the fact that this person was admitting to me that they enjoy fox hunting and have continued doing it since the ban came to pass.

Now, in case you were in any doubt, I don’t support fox hunting. Not only do I happen to like foxes – young or old, rural or urban, bushy-tailed or mangy – but if there is a problem with urban foxes in the UK then it certainly isn’t going to be sorted out by calling in the horse and hound. London is a city that feels the need to use PA systems to remind pedestrians every two minutes that the weather today has been ‘inclement’ (of course it has, it’s the the UK…). It would be a wet dream for the paperwork department in the Health and Safety Executive if anyone honestly thought that it would be a good idea to send a pack of dogs and a posse of galloping horses through the streets to rid the nation’s capital of these so-called vermin. Realistically, if there is any problem with urban foxes then it is a Defra issue and the government needs to stop talking about hunting and focus on humane control informed by statistics and research, not by passion and opinion.

Luckily, my conversational corival agreed. However, where our views began to part was at the mention of the ‘T’ word – tradition. This word is a particular favourite of the pro-hunting fraternity. While I do agree that many countryside traditions should be upheld, I think it’s time anyone who believes the fox hunting community is getting even the slightest rough deal because they can’t practice their tradition needs a healthy dose of perspective. Last year I was lucky enough to spend some time in the company of the San Bushman of the Kalahari. If you really want to appreciate how a ban on hunting threatens tradition, do yourself a favour and pack your sandals, book a flight to Botswana and take a wander into the desert. Hunting restrictions there threaten the very future of one of the oldest and most important cultures we know – a culture from which every one of us hails.

Strangely, I didn’t quite pick up the same vibe of desperation or feel the same sense of sympathy when looking into the eyes of my wealthy, London-based melancholist as I had when sat in the sand opposite a tribal elder contemplating a future without the right to hunt, without the ability to provide for his family, without a role in society, without a formal education to fall back on…without an alternative.

Why I do what I do – the WWF interview…

Posted in Conservation, Conservation Photography, Photography, UK Wildlife, Wildlife, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by Neil Aldridge

Many people stare blankly back at me when I tell them I’m a conservation photojournalist, leading me to translate my occupation into the more comprehensible term ‘wildlife photographer’. In their latest blog post, WWF asks what drives me, who inspires me and how I go about photographing conservation issues. In answering all of those questions, I hope to explain just what it is that I do…and why.

It’s a huge privilege for me to have the world’s biggest wildlife conservation organisation and one of the world’s most recognisable brands interested in my work. This interview follows my success in the 2011 British Wildlife Photography Awards and also marks the announcement of the winners of the 2012 competition, of which I was a judge. WWF is a major sponsor of the British Wildlife Photography Awards and you can keep up to date with the winners on the BWPA website.

 See the full post on the WWF UK Blog…

Happy Birthday to The Wildlife Trusts…

Posted in Conservation, European Wildlife, Take Action, UK Wildlife, Wildlife with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2012 by Neil Aldridge

Last week, The Wildlife Trusts turned 100. I put together this collection of photographs in a small tribute to the tireless work of the 47 individual Wildlife Trusts taking place in woods, rivers, classrooms, meadows, reedbeds, farmland, roadside verges and coastal waters all across the UK.

The Wildlife Trusts has shaped the UK’s landscape by protecting nature for 100 years and it has influenced my work as a photojournalist. Find out more about the work of this fantastic movement at wildlifetrusts.org/100

Visit my main website at conservationphotojournalism.com

Enter the 2012 British Wildlife Photography Awards…

Posted in European Wildlife, Photography, Wildlife Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2012 by Neil Aldridge

Don’t forget to enter the 2012 British Wildlife Photography Awards before the closing date for entries on the 12th of May. This year the twelve categories feature, for the first time in the competition’s four year life, a category dedicated solely to Britain’s woods and forests sponsored by VisitWoods. Why not use the VisitWoods website to find your nearest wood and shoot some late entries?

I’m looking forward to joining the excellent panel of judges and to helping recognise the talents of wildlife photographers practising in Britain and to celebrating the best of British wildlife.

Visit my main website at ConservationPhotojournalism.com