Our homes and gardens, towns and cities, parks and nature reserves are home to an abundance of life. My goal as a naturalist and photographer is to explore and document life in the world around us. Life exists with a huge variety, whether it's vertebrate or invertebrate, plant or fungus or even microorganism. We call the variety of life around us biodiversity.
A thriving biodiversity is crucial because it helps support healthy ecosystems that deliver fresh water, provide pollination and soil fertility, control disease and many other things. This site is a celebration of local biodiversity. Through exploration and macro photography I want to share with you the tiny worlds that are all around us. Worlds that we need to protect from human activity, to promote and to encourage a thriving biodiversity that can be enjoyed now and by future generations.
For thousands of years arachnids have been revered, symbolised, loved and feared in equal measure. The word 'Arachnid' is derived from the Greek word 'Arachne', meaning spider, and features in Greek Mythology. However, not all arachnids are spiders. Arachnida is a class of arthropod consisting of spiders, harvestmen, mites, ticks, pseudoscorpions, scorpions and a few others. Almost all adult arachnids have eight legs and unlike insects, they have no antennae or wings.
I've been seeking out and documenting these amazing creatures and have photographed over a hundred different UK species. Follow on Twitter for news of updates to the site and my latest finds.
Springtails are Hexapods - they have six legs - but unlike insects they are soft bodied, lack wings and have internal mouth parts. Although springtails are unable to fly, they can spring themselves into the air using a special appendage called a furcula. They tend to be extremely small (usually less than 6mm) and are found in almost every habitat on Earth.
Springtails feed on decaying matter and become massively abundant from autumn through spring where they can be found amongst leaf litter and deadwood, on trees, and in the soil. Good magnification is required to fully appreciate these little critters but observing them in their tiny worlds is a truly amazing experience.
Insects are the most diverse group of organisms on Earth with over a million described species and over ten million more that we don't even know about. They've been around for over 350 million years, pre-dating dinosaurs, and represent over 80% of our biodiversity. The ecological importance of insects should not be underestimated. They are pollinators, decomposers, cleansers and vital contributors to the food chain.
However, both the number and diversity of insects are declining. There are things we can all do now help prevent this decline, by creating spaces and habitats for insects to thrive in, by not using pesticides and by educating people and organisations to do the same. Take a look at the diverse range of incredible insects in our local area and ensure you do your bit to help them.
Myriapods are group of arthropods containing millipedes and centipedes, whilst Isopods are an order of crustacean that includes woodlice. Woodlice are probably the most common invertebrate I encounter, found in large numbers keeping out of sight during the day but coming out to play at night.
Coming soon!I'll be adding some of my favourite images of centipedes, millipedes, woodlice and more in the not too distant future. Come back soon and Follow on Twitter for updates!