Stourhead, situated near Mere, Wiltshire, has been owned and maintained to a particularly high standard by the National Trust since 1946, The estate is famous for its Palladian Mansion house and stunning landscape gardens. The latter I was lucky enough to visit on a typically (and quite unusually, at present) beautiful early summer day. The landscaping is such that a composed image can be taken from almost any viewpoint – and with a leisurely stroll around the lake taking about an hour or more, there are countless opportunities for this. The Palladian Bridge, Temple of Apollo and the Bristol High Cross to name but a few. For the Damselflies pictures I would have much preferred to have my Macro lens (and a lot more time on my hands), but alas it was a day when it was not in the bag, so my 18 – 55mm kit lens and 70 – 300mm were the order of the day. If you are yet to visit Stourhead then I recommend you do (when summer finally arrives). It is without doubt one of the finest National Trust estates in the country. More to follow in Part 2.
Tiggywinkles, the world’s busiest wildlife hospital is located in Haddenham, Buckinghamshire. It is a specialist hospital dedicated to rescuing and treating many species of British wildlife including hedgehogs, wild birds, foxes, badgers and deer. Those that recover well are released back into the wild and those with injuries that would leave them vulnerable to predators if released, are cared for and looked after by the hospital twenty four hours a day. The staff were helpful, knowledgeable and took time out to talk about the various species – they clearly care very much about their patients. Surprisingly, Tiggywinkles receives no government funding and purely relies on its membership funding and donations from the public. Admission is a paltry £4.50, which when you consider the worthy work this Hospital carries out is a very small price to pay. If you can’t visit then why not make a donation via their website at: http://www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/