Ilkley: The Wildlife on Your Doorstep

26th Oct 2019 - 24th Nov 2019
11:00 am - 4:00 pm

In the housebody every weekend during normal opening hours.

This is an exhibition of photographs (with some accompanying information) that are the result of a project that I have been working on over the last three years or so. My goal has been to record the variety of wildlife that can be seen in and around Ilkley (within the sort of distance you can cover with a pair of walking boots). None of the photographs were taken in private wildlife hides – all were taken in areas where there is free public access. All of the animals were wild – and none were baited or lured. So, this is wildlife that any of us can see if we look hard enough. Included, over the course of the exhibition, will be photographs and information on kingfishers, curlews, otters, dippers, deer, cuckoos, herons, and more. The photographs on display will be changed each week, so please do consider visiting more than once.

In putting together this exhibition, I do have some concern that it will give the impression that all is well for wildlife in the area – and that everything is thriving. I think that Ilkley has tremendous potential as a wildlife environment but, for some animals, existence here is an uphill struggle. So, my hope is that these photographs will encourage people to enjoy and support local wildlife.

In taking these photographs I have tried to go beyond making simple ‘records’ – and endeavoured to find combinations of animal, environment, and light that result in images that have aesthetic appeal. My personal favourites tend to be the ones that also take you ‘into the world’ of the animal, giving a flavour of its character and/or daily concerns. I hope you like them.

Steve Westerman

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