Local photographer captures amazing photos of wildlife at Idle Valley Nature Reserve during lockdown

Local photographer and wildlife watcher Mike Vickers has captured a series of stunning images of birds and other wildlife at the site since lockdown began including, crane, great white egret, smew, turtle dove and brown hare.
Great White Egret Chainbridge Lane, Idle Valley NR

Mike Vickers

Great White Egret at Idle Valley Nature Reserve

Local photographer and wildlife watcher Mike Vickers of Lound, near Retford, just a few minutes from the nature reserve, has captured a series of stunning images of birds and other wildlife at the site since lockdown began including, crane, great white egret, smew, turtle dove and brown hare.

Mike, who has been visiting the area covered by the reserve, the largest cared for by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, for over 40 years and is also a Volunteer Warden for the site. He regularly provides the charity with images to use on its website and in publications -  but since lockdown began he has been visiting more regularly and his photos have become something of a record of the species visiting in recent weeks.

Speaking about his recent visits Mike said: “The extra free time during lockdown has enabled me to indulge in my passion for nature photography and reinforced my view that nature and local nature reserves are vitally important. I’m lucky that the reserve is only a few minutes from home but it’s been rewarding to see so many people enjoying the reserve and its wildlife over the past few months.”

The extra free time during lockdown has enabled me to indulge in my passion for nature photography and reinforced my view that nature and local nature reserves are vitally important.
Mike Vickers, Photographer

Speaking about Mike’s photographs Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Head of Communications Erin McDaid said: “We always enjoy seeing Mikes photos because as well as providing a useful record of what’s been seen on the reserve, the quality of the images captures something of the essence of the site. It’s one of the best site’s in Nottinghamshire for watching birds and other wildlife and the variety of Mike’s photos underlines that. We also know that like Mike, many people have been connecting with nature during lockdown and we hope Mike’s images inspire many others to visit the reserve in the weeks and months ahead.”

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has faced a challenging time during lockdown with the majority of its staff Furloughed to protect funding, but the charity made an early decision to keep all its nature reserves open to provide people with spaces to exercise and connect with nature. Whilst the car park off North Road and the café and toilet facilities remain closed, the reserve is open for walkers and wildlife watchers and the charity is now making plans to reopen the other facilities in the weeks ahead. The reserve was set to hold its ‘Big Wild Weekend’ event on Saturday 20th June as part of the UK-wide 30 Days Wild Challenge – but the whole Big Wild Weekend will now be held online and celebrated by individuals in their own back gardens.

Erin added: “Lockdown has been difficult as we have been unable to welcome visitors in the usual way with our facilities closed and our events and volunteering programmes on hold. Despite this, we’re delighted that thousands of people like Mike have continued to enjoy our nature reserves and his images are evidence of why the sites are so important and why we all need to work to protect them and to create a Wilder Nottinghamshire for both people and nature.”

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is interested to hear about other people’s experience of nature during lockdown. Have you been visiting a local site more regularly, have you discovered a site you’ve never visited before or seen more wildlife in your garden?  Anyone willing to share their experiences and photographs can do so via the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s Idle Valley Facebook where a gallery of Mike’s recent images can also be found.

Idle Valley Nature Reserve Facebook

Anyone wanting to participate in the Big Wild Weekend this weekend should visit the website via the button below.

Big Wild Weekend