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OCTOBER 2017

The restored Engine House at Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Wetlands finally opened to the public on Friday 20th October.  I spent the first Saturday there documenting the excited visitors wandering about and exploring the massive site.  It really has been an extraordinary privilige to photograph this project over the last two years.  I felt enormously proud to show the visitors around and to ask what they thought of it.  

The regeneration of the Marine Engine House is outstanding.  The standard of work achieved by the building contractors Rooff is truly magnificent.  With the exception of one (naming no names!) contractor, they were all a joy to work with.   

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So the fishing folk, the birders and the Thames Water rangers now share the site with hundreds of visitors.  I saw children stomping in puddles, families on bicycles, families with picnics, couples with cameras, birders with binoculars... hundreds, perhaps thousands of people enjoying the great outdoors.  Just as it should be!  Phew!  Job done!!

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I enjoyed meeting all the locals who were left open-mouthed by the sheer size of the site and who couldn't understand why they hadn't really know that it was there for all these years.  I also felt an enormous sense of optimism through looking at the huge numbers of young families who were bringing their children to enjoy this wild space.  This is the generation that we are depending on to preserve and open out our green spaces.  

Hedgehogs in TimeOut

TimeOut ran a lovely piece this week featuring the Regent’s Park hedgehogs and the ‘crack team operating in pitch darkness to save the spiky critters’. You can read the article here:  https://www.timeout.com/london/blog/londons-hedgehogs-are-dying-out-but-now-a-group-of-volunteers-are-fighting-back-102517  

Such a shame that the picture editor chose a picture of an African Pygmy Hedgehog to go with the story and the rest of my pictures!  Come on guys... those domesticated pets might be cute but they don't live in Regent's Park!

Grace Jones might have made the cover but one of my hedgehogs took up the opening page!  Just as beautiful.  Just as spiky!

London RPS - Exhibition

Together with Maureen Connelly (Chair of the RPS Documentary Group, Jonathan Taylor (curator and designer of the Exhibtion) and Neil Cordell (London Regional Co-Organiser), I was invited to select entries for the London Royal Photographic Society's Exhibition.  There's something very, very special about pouring over other people's images and discussing them with a team in order to select the best.  The Exhibition is now in the Croatian Embassy.  Details here http://www.rps.org/regions-and-chapters/regions/london/blogs/2017/october/london-region-members-exhibition-launched

Mission Invertebrate

October's other pleasure has been working with the amazing and incredibly talented Mission Invertebrate team from The Royal Parks. I am always excited to work with the team and to visit the different Royal Parks.  Brompton Cemetery and Hyde Park were real highlights.  The range of activities on offer to the children and their families is exceptional and apart from photographing children in awe of creepy crawlies and slimy slitheries, I remembered how much I enjoy doing outdoor portraiture.... when nobody's looking or posing but just getting on with whateveritis.  Awesome.  Thanks Royal Parks - I love working with you!  A few sample pics from the project here http://www.pennydixie.co.uk/pages/home/commissioned-work.php?gall_id=470

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