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'Window to the Wild' - A collaboration with Hikvision

For many years I have been using Hikvision CCTV cameras for many of my wildlife projects. There are many different models and I have found a select few that really work well for what I want to achieve with my wildlife filming and live streaming. I often need to be able to focus within 20cm of my subject or be able to move the camera around. I am sometimes working in the small confines of a tit box or in a space such as an owl box. Hikvision produce a wide range of cameras and, although not specifically designed to do what I am doing, many are versatile enough ... it's just a matter of finding the right one for the job! All of thee cameras then fit into the iCatcher Console system I use to monitor them. Footage is recorded and I can then lift clips. I am able to log directly into the camera, changing settings to suit the conditions in which I am filming. On the whole, the cameras I use most are affordable and reliable, which is perfect for my small set-ups.

When I was approached by Hikvision, asking me if I would be interested in them making a short film about the work I do, I was delighted. They put me in touch with LonelyLeap; a production company based in London. I met with Kezia and Jo and we storyboarded ideas that would incorporate why I do what I do and the joy I get from sharing my work with others.

We filmed in three locations; First we filmed at Water Orton Primary School. Education is fundamental to what I do and, being a teacher, sharing my love of the natural world with a younger generation, always gives me so much joy.

I share my live stream cameras in the classroom and children can follow the lives of some of our commonest birds and wildlife. I try to excite and enthuse them and then relate this to real actions they can undertake, from feeding the birds to putting up nest boxes, for example.

We then filmed at my home, where I showed the infrastructure behind what I do and how I have set up all the cameras in my garden. I feel strongly about empowering individuals to do their own little bit for nature. By learning to see, love and interact with the wildlife right on their doorstep, people come to love their visitors, learn about what they can have and begin to connect with the world on their doorstep.

Teasel and Wren stole the show and were very interested in these visitors and their interesting kit!

We filmed around the house and the garden ..

On the second day of filming, we travelled to YewView and spent a rather wet day, dodging the showers!

A lovely addition to the film is that of the filming they did with John Dearden. John had an accident in 2019 which resulted in him breaking his back. Confined to bed, he staved off bouts of depression by accessing a range of remote cameras, including mine. This led to him getting out and about with his camera and starting a passion for photography.

A massive thank you to Hikvision for commissioning the film and for the fab team at Lonely Leap who turned it into the film you see at the beginning of this blog post.

You can read more about it on the Hikvision website blog here


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