Live or Online and delivered by an experienced and engaging presenter (giving over 60 presentations annually).
The length of the presentation can be tailored to your requirements.
I supply all necessary equipment.
Short notice bookings welcome.
Unless otherwise stated, talks are of interest both to those with only a passing interest in the natural world and to those who are already well informed on the subjects covered.
I provide images for promotion, a short description of the talk and a brief biography.
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Introduction (2 minutes)
OTTERS - COMING TO A RIVER NEAR YOU
A general otter talk covering (amongst other things) otter design features, their behaviour, signs to look out for and their population crash plus subsequent recovery. At the end there is a short piece on Hammer Scar, a female otter that, unintentionally, became habituated and with whom I made four TV appearances. Ideal as an introductory talk about otters.
"Wow. What a presentation ... we were all transfixed with the images and story you unfolded about otters and then Hammer Scar."
East Yorkshire Roses Virtual WI, East Yorkshire Federation of WIs, June 2022
HAMMER SCAR - FIVE YEARS TOGETHER
This talk is all about a very special female otter (as seen twice on The One Show) who became habituated to me and whose life I was able to observe, photograph and film in remarkable detail over a five-year period (which included five litters of cubs). Much of what you will see has probably never been filmed before. A good follow up to the above talk.
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY - IN PURSUIT OF THE IMPROBABLE 1
This is a medley of interesting, amusing and informative wildlife stories. I describe how I managed to photograph and film some challenging subjects and how an understanding of their natural history and behaviour enabled me to do so. Amongst others, pine martens, a “smart” mouse, hornets and tawny owls are featured.
"Thank you so very much for such a professional & polished presentation. Packed with interesting stories, stunning photography, fascinating facts & gentle humour." Chideock W.I., March 2022
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY - IN PURSUIT OF THE IMPROBABLE 2
This is another medley of interesting, amusing and informative wildlife stories. I describe how I managed to photograph and film some challenging subjects and how an understanding of their natural history and behaviour enabled me to do so. Amongst others, kingfishers, herons, otters, lizards and hedgehogs are featured.
"Thanks Stephen. Superb presentation this morning. Your obvious patience and ingenuity in capturing shots of iconic animals in action was enthralling." Crediton U3A, October 2021
HEDGEHOGS - IN NEED OF YOUR HELP AND "GETTING CONNECTED"
Hedgehogs are struggling with their numbers having declined dramatically over the last 30 years. In this this talk I explain how to make your garden "hedgehog friendly" then go on to show how one village came together to create a hedgehog "superhighway" of interconnected gardens. This is the perfect talk for groups looking to inspire community engagement in conservation.
"Thank you, Stephen. That was a great talk. Really inspiring. We've been talking about promoting hedgehog highways in Wincanton and I think now we need to do something about it." One Planet Wincanton, February 2022
ALL ABOUT HEDGEHOGS
Using a presentation created by "Hedgehog Street", this talk is about hedgehogs in general and describes them, their lives and the threats they face. It also describes what we can do to help this declining but much-loved British mammal.
HORNETS - GENTLE GIANTS
All you need to know about these fascinating but much maligned insects - and more! BBC's The One Show filmed the hornets nesting in one of my bedrooms!
"Thanks very much for your most interesting and stimulating talk last night. I am sure everyone found it most illuminating, even if the genetics got the brains working. Your photography and its coverage of the ecology, life style and life cycle quite marvellous." Abingdon NHS, March 2022
TAWNY OWLS - COMING TO A WOOD NEAR YOU
Tawny owls are often heard but rarely seen. This talk describes the lives of these fascinating birds, much of it gleamed from a wild “tawny” that I spent many hours observing and photographing over a fifteen-year period.
"Stephen did a great job of bringing those beautiful creatures out of the dark for me. Stunning photography and all the info one needs to have a greater chance of hearing or spotting them." Kirtlington Wildlife & Conservation Society, December 2021
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY - TIPS AND EXPERIENCES (FOR NOVICES)
In this talk I look to inspire the audience to take up wildlife photography in its simplest form, and give tips as on how one might progress to more challenging subjects and better results. There is no need to be passionate about taking wildlife photographs to enjoy this presentation.
"Thank you so much for your talk on Wednesday evening. We really enjoyed it all and appreciated all the useful tips about how to set up tables, perches and hides to encourage birds and mammals to approach. Really helpful thank you. I was stunned about the ticks!!" Alton Camera Club, March 2022
WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY - TIPS AND EXPERIENCES (FOR ENTHUSIASTS)
Aimed at those with some experience of photography, I share a few of the more challenging wildlife subjects that I have photographed over the years and the fascinating wildlife stories behind them.
GOING UNDERGROUND - THE CAVE MINING ELEPHANTS OF MOUNT ELGON
Mt Elgon, an extinct volcano straddling the Kenya/Uganda border, is home to a unique population of elephants. Consuming montane vegetation made low in minerals by the leaching effect of heavy rainfall, elephants travel 160 metres deep into the mountain to “mine” the mineral rich volcanic rock. The talk will also explore the wider natural and cultural history of the the mountain and the fascinating theories as to how the caves might have been formed. There is the option to give a greater emphasis to either the archaeology or the geology (both of which are intriguing) aspect of this talk should you wish.
"Asante sana Stephen for such an information packed talk. I loved the way you "layered" it as you built the story of Mt Elgon; introducing us to her history, flora and fauna ... AND then, having whetted our appetites, we got to see, hear and watch the amazing elephants and not forgetting the wonderful souls who monitor and watch over the entire eco community." Culm Valley U3A, March 2022
THE COUNTRYSIDE DETECTIVE
Country walks can be greatly enhanced if one has a knowledge of the signs left by animals and where to look for them. This talk will illustrate numerous examples, some common and some more unusual and some that you are likely to pass by without ever having given them much thought. The use of field craft, camera traps and CCTV monitoring will also be covered. This talk can be delivered as a conventional presentation or as a light-hearted quiz.
LIVING WITH MAMMALS
This is a light-hearted but informative talk on mammals who share our homes and gardens. In it I explain what you can do to make your garden hedgehog friendly, show who was going to extraordinary lengths to steal my pears, how a wood mouse chose my porridge oats over the Dorset cereal and the tale of a female rabbit’s astonishing deception that allowed her to raise her young under my vegetable patch.
REMOTE MONITORING OF OTTERS AND OTTER IDENTIFICATION (FOR SPECIALISTS)
With over 18 years of experience using camera traps and CCTV to monitor otters, I share the “tips of the trade” and how to deploy and get the best images from conventional camera traps, SLR camera traps and CCTV. The talk will then explain what features can be used to identify individual otters and how the results can be collated to gain a fascinating insight into otter behaviour. This is a relatively specialist talk suitable for audiences with a keen interest in the subject.