Tuesday, 24 November 2009


Video and photographs taken in the Brecon Beacons, in January 2009.

Don't forget to - TURN THE VOLUME UP

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Evil Killers Lurking In The Forest

Due to the recent negativity (again), regarding the wild boar in the Forest of Dean, I thought I would show you this photo. What do you think?
Looks very scary yes, but I can assure you that I still have all my fingers and he was grunting with excitement. No threat whatsoever.

I am not saying that it is OK to approach wild boar, nor am I saying its OK to touch them. What I am saying is that from time to time, certain people have encounters with wild animals, some good and some not so good, but how many times have the boar attacked humans, in this country (or in the world), without good cause?
What I mean is that there are wild boar attacks on humans in countries where they hunt them. This is because the boar has been chased and scared half to death by a pack of dogs, which then savage it before the owner turns up trying to act all macho and man handle the boar in front of the camera, then they wonder why the boar has a go back and they get hurt.
These people see themselves as hero's and hard men, but in reality they are just attention seekers that get adrenaline rushes out of torturing and killing wild animals like the wild boar and deer.

Search YouTube, there are plenty of the sadistic, blood thirsty assholes on there, but if you do, be prepared to see some very nasty stuff and look closely at the video, as 99% of the time you can clearly see that the boar is just trying to get away and does not want confrontation.
Then do a search for un-provoked attacks on humans on the web and see what comes up! You will be surprised, as these animals do not attack for no reason.
If a dog threatens one then yes, the dog will get hurt, but if a dog also threatens a fallow buck during the rut, or an adder during the Spring/Summer, the dog will also get hurt, so to all the people who hate the boar just because they are worried about their dog, you are wrong to fear this creature just because you have a dog.

It is law that a person has to be in control of their dog while off lead in public areas, so if you are not in control, then you can't blame the boar, only yourself!

We must never forget that all animals in the wild and in captivity will protect their young, and they will usually do this, even if it means they will lose their own life in the process.
Does this sound familiar? It should do, as this is the same behaviour as us! We would also give our lives to protect our children, (well most of us anyway).

I am not a tree-hugger, nor am I any different to anybody else. I just have a passion for our wildlife and I will never ever sit back and ignore the scaremongering that is spread every single day regarding the wild boar. I have said from day one that the boar numbers will need managing, but this is obvious as if not, they will breed out of control. The fallow deer are managed in the same way.

The media can be used to highlight threats and environmental / conservation issues, for this it is a great tool, but used unwisely, it can be the worst enemy our wildlife has!

Thanks to Ben for taking this shot.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Wild Boar Family To Be Taken Out!

If you receive the FoD Review, then you would have probably read the article on the back page regarding the wild boar and dog incident?
What has shocked me is that Heather Lilley, a spokesperson for the Forestry Commission has openly commented that the unleashed dog responsible for disturbing the boar was injured by a sow protecting her young?
She then goes on to say that the boar would be taken out!
I take it she doesn't mean taken out of the forest and relocated? I think we all know that she means that the animal in question will be shot dead?!?
Just suppose that a Forestry Ranger did shoot this sow dead, what would happen to her young if they were not able to fend for themselves, would they be shot also? Lets face it, I don't think there are any boar shelters for homeless piglets around, is there?
What if the sow was shot dead and the piglets ran away! Is this not the ultimate in cruelty, to leave the offspring in the forest alone and unable to survive on their own? After all, wild boar piglets are not weaned until they are 12 weeks old!
I think this statement was not thought out and is very damaging for all concerned?

It doesn't matter, which side of the fence you sit on? This boar did nothing wrong and did nothing different than any other wild animal would have done. It is only that the boar are able to fend off dogs that the tables have turned.
How many times have dogs chased deer fawns through the forest, scaring them half to death, with the owners not giving a monkey's because they think their dog has more right in the forest because they are domesticated? Well sorry, but it doesn't!
It is unfortunate that the dog was injured, but going to the media just highlights the fact that there are dogs running around our forest, which are not being properly controlled by their owners?!?
Plus it also gives the anti wildlife scaremongers and armchair critics more fuel for their fire and believe me, there are plenty of them out there!

  • Wild boar are mainly nocturnal.

The gentleman was walking his dog at 06.30am, it would have been quite dark at this time and he used his torch to find his dog.

  • If the dog was on a lead.
It would not have been in the bushes, where it disturbed the sow and her young! I have no objection to walking a "safe" dog unleashed, but if it gets into a scrape, blame yourself, not the animal responsible for protecting its young as this is unfair and wrong!
  • Unleashed dogs.
Up until now, dogs have been able to run riot around our forest unleashed, scaring and attacking our wildlife without fear of anything. Most of these incidents go unreported as nobody is going to report their own dog for attacking a wild animal are they? Now there is an animal, which can stick up for itself and is not afraid of dogs, some people think they have no place in our forest? (See below)
  • The wild boar are native to Britain.

If people want to go down that route, the boar have more right to be here than the fallow deer have, as the fallow deer are not native! They were introduced by the Normans because they hunted the wild boar to extinction in the UK! They did try numerous reintroduction programmes, but guess what? They hunted them to extinction again and again before they could become re-established. So the wild boar does have a place in our forest, more so than you think.

What we must remember is that the forest is a wild place with wild animals. If you are worried about the boar and your dogs, keep them on a lead where you suspect there are boar and walk in the daytime when you can see your dog at all times. The owner of the injured dog states that this was not his first encounter and that the boar have been seen frequently in the area where his dog disturbed the boar.

I value all views, so all negative and positive comments appreciated, as always.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

A Year Behind The Lens - 2009

This is my first year filming around the Forest of Dean. I have been photographing it for a long time, but I had never put a lot of time into filming, until this year.

As you can only upload 100MB of video to Blogger at one time, I had to be selective with my material and there is no music to my video as the sounds of the forest are far more superior to any music!

I hope you like what you see?

Monday, 16 November 2009

Animal Communication

Animals communicate just like humans, through being vocal. Most of the time we do not hear them, but I have isolated a few and then slowed them down in the following clip.
You will be surprised at the outcome!

PS: Bonus footage at the end.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

The Strike!

Rain and gales, not good weather for anything really!
As I can't get out and about with the cameras, I have decided to create something a little special from some old video footage.

Hope you like?

Friday, 6 November 2009

Photographing Snakes in the Forest of Dean

Well the weather is terrible for photography, so here is a video from earlier in the year, hope you like?

This is how you photograph snakes, you lye in the grass next to them and without shaking, push the shutter!

As you can see, the snake is not being disturbed and as long as we are quiet and calm he will be fine and will stay still long enough to allow us to get our photographs. I do not advise anyone without experience to try this, as this snake was not the only one in the vicinity and its always the one you don't see that gets ya!

The guy in the video is my nephew and fellow photographer, Paul Skelton and the snake is a male adder.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Male Adder Breathing

I filmed this male adder earlier in the year. He was on the other side of a wire fence, but that didn't stop me from getting a close up

Watch his nostrils flare while he is breathing.