Those early observations were the start of my life’s passion for the natural world
At eight years old I wrote my first book ‘Attracting wildlife to your compost heap’ – sadly it was never published! However, those early observations were the start of my life’s passion for the natural world and since 1997 I have worked as a professional wildlife photographer, naturalist and author.
For ten years I studied the lives of a small population of wild tigers in India, building a unique portrait covering five generations. My first book ‘Wild Tigers of Bandhavgarh’ was published by Tiger Books in 2002. Then came the sequel ‘Tiger Jungle’- with a foreword by David Shepherd OBE. My precious experiences and observations of the tigers and their jungle home will stay with me forever.
As much as I adore wildlife watching abroad, I have a desire to show off the, often overlooked, nature on our doorsteps (not to mention tackling climate change). Far from restricting my work, a focus closer to home means that I can make more detailed studies than were possible overseas. Taking this to the extreme is my third book ‘Wild London’. Much more than just rats and pigeons, Wild London showcases the fascinating diversity of wildlife found within the city – from ancient woodlands to the wildlife in 10 Downing Street.
I made the wild discovery of my career two years ago, not in India or some exotic location, but on my doorstep. One winter night, just two metres from my house I discovered feathered green and golden globe resting on an elder branch. This real-life sleeping beauty, was a kingfisher – curled up tightly, to shelter from the freezing cold. After research, I realised that though a very well-studied species, this night-time aspect of their life had not been documented. He returned to the same branch each evening for a month and I took every opportunity to study him. Careful to not disturb him, I limited my photography to just a couple of shots each night. Even when it snowed at 2.30am I was there – standing knee-deep in the river, in the dark and covered in snow!
A bold reminder that there is so much wild wonder to discover on our doorstep.