The late comedian William Claude Fields once remarked that he would: “Never work with children or animals“. This phrase has become something of a theatrical and photographic injunction and seems sound advice indeed. I’ve had a very keen interest in wildlife photography for getting on for a decade now, although it’s only within the last few years that I’ve really developed an obsession with it. As such, I have become painfully aware of how difficult it is to get close enough to many wild animals even to observe their behaviour, let alone get decent photographs. My first attempts ham-fisted attempts at wildlife photography actually began about 15 years ago and involved spending several nights each week for about two months sat in a freezing cold car with my Mum. I was leaning out of the window with the camera on full zoom and my finger was poised hopefully on the shutter release. Why? Because my Mum had received a tip-off.
We were told by some locals that a guy on this street fed a small vixen; every night at about the same time, he gave her a plate of dog food. So regular was this occurrence that, should the gentleman forget his appointment, the vixen would leave the shelter of the copse, cross the road and sit in his front garden. I’m told that, on one occasion, she even walked up his drive and peered in through his living room window to see what had happened to her supper. On our first two visits she appeared as we hoped she might, just not where we hoped she might! Eventually, we began to figure out her routine and we dug in for the wait. Unfortunately, despite seeing her numerous times, it seems we were just too far away, or the light was too poor, to get anything that I considered to be a half-decent shot. When I finally managed to track down a video camera with a zoom powerful enough to allow some decent shots she failed to turn up. I didn’t see her again.
This and other similar experiences have left me with a great appreciation for people who make a living doing this kind of work. Ergo, much to the bemusement of some of my friends and family, when creating Wildlife Online I refused to use any photographs that I had not been granted permission to use. In other words, I would not simply ‘lift’ them from books or the Internet. Fortunately, several friends — and many more strangers — stepped in to provide me with some superb images that have contributed immensely to the site – to these people I am eternally grateful.
Despite the photos that have already been kindly donated, I am always looking for more! I am interested in seeing good photos of any of the species featured on the site. Moreover, there are always articles in the pipeline and any photos of these subjects would be very welcome. So, do you have any photographs of British wildlife that you are proud of? Are you ‘Leonardo de Vinci of the shutterbug’? Would you like to make your work available for all to see? If so, I’d like to hear from you. I’d also like to hear from you if you’re an artist. I am the first to admit that my attempts at drawing are pretty lousy and if you’d be interested in donating some of your precious time to helping get ideas out of my head and on to paper, I’d love to hear from you.
Finally, as well as photographs, there are also several subjects on which I’m looking for information. If you can help with any of these, I would be forever grateful. So, please take a look at the information below and get in touch.
Photos Currently Needed (August 2017):
Bats (any of the UK’s 16 species).
Rabbits and hares (especially rabbit kittens and leverets).
European badgers (especially cubs).
Various deer (particularly muntjac and newborn fawns/calves lying up).
Hedgehogs (especially hoglets and copulation images).
Information Currently Sought (August 2017):
Reports of encounters between hedgehogs and badgers or foxes.
Reports of dogs being (or suspected to have been) attacked/injured by deer (particularly muntjac).
Reports of interactions between domestic cats and dogs with foxes.
Reports of foxes attacking/killing/eating other foxes (especially cubs – i.e. infanticide).
Reports of hedgehogs eating unexpected food, particularly small mammals or amphibians.
Reports of Great white sharks from the Northeast Atlantic, including the North Sea.
Your tried and tested methods for keeping unwanted wildlife (e.g. foxes, badgers, squirrels, deer, etc.) out of your garden.
Terms and Conditions of Submission
Wildlife Online is a hobby of mine; it’s not a commercial enterprise, and I don’t make any money from it. Consequently, I generally don’t have the resources to pay people for their photos or artwork. As such, I’m looking for people who are willing to donate their photos or artwork in return for a credit and link to their website and the warm fuzzy glow of knowing that your work is helping educate people about Britain’s wildlife. You remain the copyright holder of any images. So, with this in mind, if you’re still willing to help, please take a look at the terms and conditions below and, if you agree, get in touch.
- You confirm that you are the copyright holder and that the image is yours to distribute.
- You grant me permission to publish the image on Wildlife Online (main domain: www.wildlifeonline.me.uk) with due representation that you are the copyright holder and a link back to your website or a website of, within reason, your choice.
- You agree that the image may be duplicated on more than one page of the site; but it will not be published elsewhere without your express permission.
- You retain the right to have the image removed from the site at any time (typically this can be arranged within 48 hours).
- You retain the right to have the credit or associated web-link amended at any time (typically this can be arranged within 48 hours)
When sending photos, please include your full name and the URL (i.e. website address) of the site you would like your credit linked to. Please see my Frequently Asked Questions for information on image formats
Points to Note:
- No assumption of right to publish will be assumed. If you e-mail me a photo, I will not assume that I can use it on the site. In some instances I may request to use of the photo, but it will not be published on the site without your permission.
- At no time should you endanger yourself or others by taking any unnecessary risks, or break any laws to take photos submitted to Wildlife Online.
- The subject’s welfare must come first. Please do not deliberately disturb/damage an animal or plant in order to get a photograph.
- I cannot guarantee to publish all photos received.