Wild Scenes

Tuesday, 8th November 2005

Bluebells at Nostell Priory
Bluebells at Nostell Priory (National Trust)
John Gardner ARPS

At Wakefield Naturalists' this autumn we've had talks from as far afield as Spitzbergen and Patagonia but this evening our resident president, John Gardner, gives the talk and (with the exception of a day return excursion to photograph killer whales in a fjord in Norway) his recent subject matter is entirely British wildlife and landscapes.

Captured on Film

John's work is featured on at least three wildlife calendars for 2006: at W H Smith's, Morrisons' and Woolworth's (the latter is, I believe, entirely his own work). His entertaining talk highlights the patience, knowledge and ingenuity required by a wildlife photographer: none of which is much use without the eye for an image and the instinct to catch the right moment.

Take a look at his WildScenes website (see link below) to see the range of his work which includes birds of prey, wild flowers and insects.

A Touch of Frost

Even when he's back in his studio on Wakefield's south bank, John keeps an eye on the local wildlife, such as the swans, kingfisher and mink on the Calder.

This summer his riverbank premises were overrun by a film crew but they weren't there to film John at work; they were filming David Jason in Near Death Experience, an episode of A Touch of Frost.

Why John hasn't got his own series yet I'm not sure.

John Gardner by Steve Magennis

No, this isn't Ray Mears' stunt double - John, photographed in his natural habitat by fellow wildlife photographer, Steve Magennis.


Going Wild

So much for tonight's speaker, now for the main event of any evening with the Wakefield Naturalists', the tea break; a time to catch up on the latest wildlife gossip. We meet on the second Tuesday of the month, in the Quaker Meeting House, Thornhill Street, from September to April, and there are field meetings during the summer. Please e-mail me for details. Everyone is welcome and you certainly don't have to be an expert to enjoy these talks, just to be fascinated by the natural world.

This evening a woman and her daughter walk in as Barbara and I are making the tea and coffee.

'Could you tell me where the meditation class is please?'

'Are you sure you've got the right day,' says Barbara,' there's a Naturalists' meeting upstairs tonight.'

'Naturists?!!' exclaims the woman, covering her daughter's ears in alarm! Next Page


WildScenes.com wildlife and landscape images by John Gardner, ARPS

Steve Magennis wildlife photography

Richard Bell, richard@willowisland.co.uk