Friday, 24 July 2015

Kelsey Park with Lizzie Guntrip

Whilst I was down in London a few weeks ago doing work experience at the Natural History Museum (blog post coming soon!) I caught up with Lizzie Guntrip at Kelsey Park in Beckenham. I first met Lizzie at Autumnwatch last year when I was at Leighton Moss for Unsprung, having had my footage featured on the main show the previous day. Lizzie had been on the Extra show taking about how nature has helped her regain stability in her life whilst living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) since she was young. The online campaign #WildlifeFromMyWindow is a joint effort of hers and BBC Springwatch, aimed especially at those living with a illness; Even if you're housebound there's always a way to enjoy the healing properties and enjoyment of nature and wildlife. The campaign went down extremely well, even to those with no limiting illness. It even got a mention from Chris Packham on one of the Springwatch Unsprung shows this year! Pleasingly the #WildlifeFromMyWindow is still being used…and I suggested to Lizzie to get a website or something similar set up to further connect its supporters. To follow her on twitter click here.

Below are a mixture of photos taken at Kelsey Park. I was so thrilled to have seen Ring-necked Parakeets and even a fox in the park…even if Lizzie wasn't so amused (as they are a very common sight in London!) Other species that we saw included grey heron, tufted duck, egyptian goose, moorhen and male & female mandarin duck. It was lovely to catch up with Lizzie after a busy day at the NHM museum and commuting around London solo…and who knows, we may even meet again at Autumnwatch this year!

The squirrels were so tame and confident! This can be great for photography but it doesn't help their flying-rat status as they become opportunistic scavengers...

Kelsey Park is home to a heronry which is located on an island in the middle of the lake. It is home to around 25 pairs which breed successfully each year. The island is about 50 metres from the pathway allowing for those with good lenses to get some cracking shots. My photos tend to be more of a photographic diary than competition-worthy images!

It was a well-spent, relaxing evening to end a jam-packed day.