2020Vision launches photography-based conservation initiative
April sees the launch of 2020Vision, Britain’s most ambitious photography-based conservation initiative ever! 20 of the country’s top wildlife and nature photographers have, for the first time, come together with leading conservation partners to document the value of restoring Britain’s battered ecosystems. Over the course of 20 months, the 2020 Phototeam will carry out 20 flagship assignments, which demonstrate the link between healthy ecosystems and healthy people.
Peter Cairns, 2020Vision’s coordinator and one of its photographers said: “Ecosystem thinking is something that is now prevalent in the scientific community, but the value of a wilder Britain, where ecosystems function as they should, has not yet been imaginatively communicated to a mainstream audience. This project bridges that gap using the motivational language of great photography, a language in which everyone can find relevance. Our aim is to take ecosystem thinking to a new level and a new audience. It’s about making nature cool.”
The Phototeam, which includes top shooters Chris Packham, Joe Cornish and Andy Rouse, will be joined by videographers and sound recordists, and will visit key locations throughout Britain, from the ancient Scottish pine forests to the suburban garden pond. The assignments focus on habitats that are being restored or re-connected, not only for the benefit of the wildlife species that live there, but for people too. The thousands of images generated from these assignments will then be woven into compelling narratives and presented in innovative ways that will reach far beyond ‘the conservation converted’.
Chris Gomersall, one of the project’s management team, said: “2020Vision will answer the question often asked about nature: What’s in it for me? Our photographers are not only amongst the most talented and creative in the country, they are committed to working together to show that a healthy natural world is something we all depend upon – we just don’t always realise it!”
2020Vision is backed by IUCN-UK and will be launched officially at a landmark conference in Edinburgh on April 19, attended by many of Europe’s top conservationists and policy makers.
Further details can be found on the 2020Vision website.
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WWT’s wildlife presenter YouTube competition winner announced
A wildlife artist from Shrewsbury has become the winner of WWT’s Be Your Favourite Wildlife Presenter YouTube competition. Ben Waddams, 25, impressed the judges – including TV’s David Bellamy and Bill Oddie – with his entertaining impressions of not one but three wildlife presenters, Steve Irwin, Sir David Attenborough, and Professor Bellamy himself!
Summing up the judges’ decisions, wildlife presenter Bill Oddie said: “The winner has to be Ben Waddams. He gave us three impressions, they sounded different from one another and were reminiscent of the presenters’ real voices. Plus, I got the impression that he’d be pretty good as himself too!”.
Second place went to James Chubb from East Devon who did an impersonation of Sir David Attenborough and received by far the most YouTube hits. Warwickshire David Bellamy impersonator Ben King’s employment of a cotton wool beard helped him into third place, with judge Bill Oddie remarking he “also made a decent Father Christmas visually!”.
The competition was devised by WWT to raise awareness in the run up to their nationwide survey ‘Wildest Hide & Seek’ taking place now until 31 May. Participants are asked to spend just one hour in their garden or local park and note down if they see any of 14 species chosen for their reliance on ponds and small wetlands, to look at he effects wetlands may have on a range of wildlife. A guide and form for the ‘Wildest Hide & Seek’ is available to download at www.wwt.org.uk/hideandseek or free to collect from any WWT Wetland Centre.
Amongst winner Ben’s prizes are a pond for his garden or local community space, a guest presenter slot on Green TV and tickets to see Sir David Attenborough at a sold-out event at WWT London Wetland Centre tomorrow (26 May) to celebrate the centre’s 10th anniversary. Second prize winner James also wins a pond, and third place Ben King wins a VIP day out to a WWT Wetland Centre of his choice, plus a complimentary membership of WWT.
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Duckling days offer half term fun
If you are looking for the ahhh factor this half term head for the duckling days at National Wetland Centre Wales.
Visitors during the week (Saturday 29 May to Sunday 6 June) can have the chance to go on a behind the scenes tour of the hatchery and duckery at the centre in Llanelli.
On the 45 minute tour they will meet lots of fluffy ducklings and learn all about eggs, incubation and hatching.
Nigel Williams, centre manager, said: “People of all ages really enjoy our duckling days as they get a chance to learn about our work and see lots of young birds.
“The duckery is only open to the public for one week of the year, so make a note in your diary!”
Normal admission fees apply. Book your place on one of the tours at 12pm, 2pm and 3pm on your arrival.
For further information please contact 01554 741087 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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