Shropshire Council First for Wollerton Wetlands

On Thursday 29th July, Shropshire Council’s Parks and Countryside Sites Service held its first Wildlife Photography Course in Hodnet.

Photography course leaders John Harding and Lynne Dean
With a limited number of spaces available a group of around fifteen people gathered, with notebooks and cameras ready, in the Lyon Hall for a morning session led by local amateur wildlife photographer John Harding. John, who lives in Whitchurch and is a volunteer at Wood Lane Reserve near Ellesmere has had his photographs used in magazine and advertising for some time.
With course members ranging from novices to those with experience of having wildlife photographs published, John spent the morning on a range of topics from the basics of photography through to describing some of the effort which goes into taking stunning wildlife photographs. He had brought with him some of the equipment he uses in the field and enlightened his audience with descriptions of their benefits and at times their weaknesses!
Course participants set of in search of interesting insects to record with their cameras.
After lunch there was a short drive to Wollerton and a walk across a field to the Wetlands which were created when the A53 bypass was built. Just over a year ago their maintenance was handed over to Shropshire Council by the construction company.
In late July the main attraction was a wide variety of insects plus water plants. The five pools offer an excellent habitat for wildlife and this group of photographers were kept happy for around two hours. The more enthusiastic had to be almost dragged away when the time came to leave.
Speaking afterwards, Lynne Dean, Countryside Ranger with Shropshire Council who organised the course said, “Parks and Countryside Sites team run a series of events throughout our 130 sites where we hope to encourage people to get out and enjoy the Shropshire countryside.
“The photographic day was designed for people like me who have a digital camera and want to take pictures of wildlife. That’s where John Harding came in and gave us some great advice on how to the get the best pictures possible.
“Wollerton is one of our newest sites as it was created as part of the Hodnet bypass in 2003. Seven years on, the flora and fauna there is stunning.”
At the end of a very enjoyable day course, participants who had come from places as far away as Birmingham, were asked to email John Harding with a selection of their photographs. John has put a selection of these on the Wood Lane website. Click here to view them.
To visit the Parks and Countryside Sites section on Shropshire Council’s website, please click here.