2020VISION is a nature photography project which was created with the aim of communicating the link between habitat restoration and our own well-being. Some big names took part (such as Joe Cornish and Andy Rouse) giving the project real photographic credibility. Now the fieldwork is finished, the project is on tour as a series of lectures around the country.
Review of the Roadshow at St. George’s in Bristol.
Booming idents and action packed graphics, which were used to emphasise the importance of protecting and improving our wild places, seemed in sharp contrast to the beautiful and often serene images that were displayed at this informative event. Subjects of the photographs included a range of species which ably helped to illustrate the plethora of wildlife within and surrounding our shores such as: wild boar, stags, otters, pine martins, red squirrels, grey seals, owls, cranes, foxes and mountain hares, These were interspersed with some stunning landscape pictures from peat bogs to mountains.
One of the most exciting aspects of the project was the recruitment of Young Champions (young photographers) - an enthusiastic and talented bunch who worked alongside the professionals to pick up tips and tricks of the trade. We were lucky enough to hear charismatic 20-year-old aspiring wildlife photographer Bertie Gregory talk about his experience of photographing a family of peregrine falcons living amongst the office blocks in Bristol City Centre. His lively pictorial account of the ups and downs of their urban life was both entertaining and inspirational. He says: "I have always been passionate about wildlife and am particularly interested in the way animals adapt their behaviour in extreme conditions.” He described how this obviously sometimes causes conflict as their lives overlap with that of humans and his hilarious account of a beheaded and bloody pigeon accidentally dropped by a fledgling peregrine amongst diners sitting outside a busy city centre restaurant demonstrated this perfectly. In contrast, he also talked of the successful rescue by some builders of the same fledgling when it was mobbed by seagulls and forced down into a high-sided waterway. Without their help it is highly likely it would have died. His talk left us with hope that we can live alongside these wonderful wild creatures and that they can adapt to a multitude of things we throw at them.
Award-winning underwater photographer Alex Mustard was the next speaker and in complete contrast to Bertie, he told us about his experience of diving with and photographing the wildlife around the British coastline. His images of 6-8 metre basking sharks were particularly impressive. It was fascinating to see the diversity of wildlife and range of colours of our local underwater world.
We left the lecture full of hope for the future that our ‘green and pleasant land’ can continue to be so.
To hear different speakers from the project, you can visit one of the 2020VISION Roadshow events.
Image © Alex Mustard