Will′s wildlife focus

22.03.2010

An award winning picture taken by Britain’s Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year is going on display in a unique Northumberland gallery.

Kielder Castle, the former hunting lodge to the Duke of Northumberland, is now home to a visitor centre and art gallery and will house an exhibition of Will Nicholl’s pictures throughout April 2010.

The Northumberland teenager currently holds the title of top photographer in the country (under 18 category), an award he scooped in 2009. His winning photo of a red squirrel was snapped from a purpose built hide at Northumbrian
Water’s Leaplish Waterside Park.

Margaret Hardon, who organises the gallery at Kielder Castle for the Forestry Commission, said: “It’s great to see a local lad gain national recognition. As he snapped his winning image right here in Kielder Water & Forest Park it seems only fitting that the castle houses his first exhibition and we’re delighted to have the opportunity to showcase fresh young talent.”

Will, who has always had an interest in wildlife, realised he had talent when he snapped his first image of a native red squirrel. “I love spotting glimpses of wildlife but once it disappears, you realise you may never see it again. That’s why I love photography so much as it allows me to capture those rare moments of nature.”

The exhibition has a red squirrel focus but visitors can expect to see general wildlife shots, all taken in Northumberland in the last year, including sheep, puffins and robins. Next on his wish list is a picture of boxing hares, where the female hare hits the male, to test his suitability as a potential mate.

Will added: “Winning the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award really boosted traffic to my website and sales in general. I was lucky to get a lot of national press coverage and it has prompted valuable links with organisations such as Save Our Squirrels and the Red Squirrel Survival Trust. I’ll definitely try to retain my title at the 2010 awards in September.”

The exhibition is free entry and Will’s work will be on sale – prices start from £55 for framed pictures and canvasses.

Kielder Water & Forest Park is home to 50% of England’s remaining red squirrel population. The Park spans 250 square miles and boasts the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. It was voted the most tranquil place in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. For more information go to www.visitkielder.com. 

For more information contact Philippa Clark, communications advisor (Kielder Water & Forest Park), on 0191 301 5538, 07970 897 756 or philippa.clark@nwl.co.uk.

Notes to editor:

Will’s framed prints, digital downloads and gifts can be purchased at www.willnicholls.co.uk. Will supports the Red Squirrel Survival Trust and a percentage of his website sales from red squirrel products will be donated to the organisation. When purchasing from his website enter the codes RSST1 (Red Squirrel Survival Trust) or SOS1 (Save our Squirrels) in the ′Additional Comments′ box.

Will also has pictures on display at Pebbles Art Gallery, part of its youth project, in Allendale, Northumberland.

The Kielder Partnership is a public, voluntary and private sector collaboration working to develop Kielder Water & Forest Park as an inspirational place for leisure, exploration and fun.

Partners are Calvert Trust Kielder, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission, Northumberland County Council, Northumbrian Water plus representation from community groups.

Picture shows: Will’s award winning shot of a red squirrel in Kielder Water & Forest Park. Image can be used with this news release but future uses require permission, please contact Will Nicholls direct at www.willnicholls.co.uk

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