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Photographing wildlife in the Forest of Dean

Posted on 27th January 2017

Wildlife photographers are drawn to the Forest of Dean due to its extraordinary variety of animal and plant life. The region is home to an abundance of wildlife, from the humble hedgehog to more unusual species such as the long-eared bat. From February 1st, photographers are invited to submit their images to the revered British Wildlife Photography Awards 

Male mandarin duck

Each year, photographers showcase spectacular images representing all aspects of British wildlife. Categories include ‘animal behaviour’, ‘hidden Britain’, ‘wild woods’ and ‘botanical Britain’. So whether you’re focusing on the secret world of bugs or capturing unique animal behaviour, there is space for every subject and every species.

As well as foxes, dormice, voles and grey squirrels, the Forest of Dean is home to over 30 different types of butterfly. Avid wildlife watchers should look out for the remarkable purple hairstreak butterfly, the wood white and grizzled skipper. But don’t ignore common species such as the marbled white, small copper and common blue. Often a fresh approach to photographing a common insect or animal makes a worthy prize winner.

If you have your heart set on capturing some of the forest’s rarer species, the small but spectacular pied flycatcher bird can be spotted nesting in the natural cavities of old oaks. Also, look out for flashes of colour from the Mandarin duck which migrates between forest lakes.

The best time to photograph wildlife is in the golden hours, in the hour after sunrise and before sunset. Not only will you have a better chance of spotting resident species, such as fallow deer, you will also capture your subjects in the most beautiful light.

The British Wildlife Photography Awards opens for entries on February 1st and closes on June 3rd, so you have plenty of time to get snapping during your stay in a holiday cottage in the Forest of Dean.

 Image Credit: Christian Musat (Shutterstock)