Viewing entries tagged
Iolo Williams

Iolo's Street Life

If you missed the first episode of Iolo’s Street Life, it’s showing on BBC iPlayer for the next 24days.
Here’s the Link

The next episode is on tomorrow (Friday 27th) at 7:30pm on BBC One Wales so there’s time to get it on series link if you’re able.

For those that haven’t been following my blog over the last year, this series was my first time working on a major production, commissioned by the BBC and produced by Aden Productions. I was employed by Aden as a researcher and as a researcher, it was my job to ensure that everything on the day of filming was pre-planned to ensure we made full use of the limited days we had Iolo and the production team booked.
Not an easy task when you’re dealing with subjects as unpredictable as Wildlife and as you can imagine, to ensure things went perfectly on the day, it required many hours prior, sleeping in random hotels all over the country, staying up all hours monitoring cameras, laying camera traps, speaking with local people on the phone, at their doorstep, on the streets… Pretty much anything it took to get the knowledge we needed to film wildlife on the streets.
It was a great pleasure to work on the program and everyone at Aden was so welcoming, supportive and generally such a good bunch to work alongside. I mainly worked with Associate Producer, Osian Griffiths, who helped guide me in this new role, but I also spent some time with Kathy James who was also new to the role of Researcher but she had her own series to concentrate on called Iolo: Saving the Land of the Wild. A truly epic series that touched upon some really important topics we’re facing in this country at the moment so well worth watching if you haven’t already.

I probably should have took more behind the scene pics for my own memory sake but I didn’t want to be the one playing about with my phone on a major shoot. Below are some of my setups, some footage of which you’ve already seen of the Owls and Foxes but some that also didn’t make the cut like the Otters at Haverfordwest and Sparrowhawks in Michele Hughes Garden. For every one item you see in the program, we must of had 3 extra as reserves, backup plans, or items that simple didn’t meat the criteria in the final cut.

I must admit, the whole experience filming with Iolo and being such a critical part of the filming process, was such an honour, but I’ll be totally honest, it took a tole on my mental health, and all I’ve really concentrated on since then, was getting myself back on track, both physically and mentally. Very soon I’ll be co-launching a new community interest company called ‘In Our Nature’ with Veronika Brannovic. The company aims to improve wellbeing for people who suffer with mental illness, by utilising the power of nature and everything it has to offer. More about this on a future blog post.

For now, I hope you enjoy the program, please let me know what you think via the comments, on social media ect.

In the present, I think I just about made the most of the last bit of autumn sunshine I could get, getting some more time with the Brown Hawkers at Ebbw Vale and finding a very late Male Black-tailed Skimmer which usually peaks in June-July.

Something else I stumbled upon by accident was later identified by Steve Williams, was a possible Tufa Spring. - Read more about it here. I’ve seen this before at this exact location and I’ve mistaken it for some sort of pollution incident, almost ringing NRW to check on it too as there was a burn out car nearby and I’ve found random chemical containers up there in the past. If this is a natural Tufa Spring, it'll be worth examining the flora around the pond as there may be some rare plant life that usually associates themselves with calcium-rich waters.

An opportunity I cannot miss!

My time as a Seasonal Ranger has come to an end, with my last official day with them just yesterday. But why you say? You love it at Llandegfedd! This is very true, I do love Llandegfedd, and thankfully, my connection to Llandeg goes much deeper than a Job with Welsh Water, and that connection will never end. 

So what's next? Well, I've been offered a Job as a Specialist Wildlife Researcher for Aden Productions to help produce Iolo Williams' next wildlife documentary for the BBC. It's a great opportunity that I simply cannot turn down, and I can't wait to start with them on the 28th of this month. It will mean some extra travelling but it's well worth it, working alongside like-minded people, all of which share my passion for wildlife. I appreciate all the support from friends and family, as though this change is a good change, I still struggle at times like this as my anxiety can sometimes get the better of me. 

Below are four of my favourite pics from Llandeg last year. I'm sure I'll continue to have many more memorable moments at what is such a fabulous place for wildlife.  

Iolo's Spider Fetish

All this talk lately about False Widow Spiders caught the attention of the media today, this time thankfully the good guys! Iolo Williams and his film crew turned up to film the Nobel False Widow Spider in my garage, footage of which you will get to see in his new series about Urban Wildlife in Wales. It was really nice to catch up with Iolo and the crew, the same crew of which filmed Iolo's Great Welsh Parks two years ago. Where has that time gone! 

Big Moment

It's all becoming very real for me this year. New Job in September and followed by my first conference talk at Welsh Ornithological Societies National Conference in November. Having my name last on that poster list isn't at all daunting... with Iolo Williams as our opening speaker and some fantastic topics / speakers throughout. Nice to see some familiar names on there too, with Steve Smith being the very guy who helped get me my new Job at the Brecon Beacons National Park.  

Details of the conference can be found Here with a brief description of the topics for the evening. My Topic is a particularly interesting one for me, 'Be aware of what you hear: how mimicry can influence breeding success '. Without giving away too much, I will be speaking about the art of mimicry and what it means to be a mimic from as close to a birds point of view as I can get. I will also talk about a new mimic on the scene from which you'll have to attend to find out just what that is. I'll speak more about this in future blogs. #exciting

Iolo's Great Welsh Parks

Iolo's Great Welsh Parks

I hope you've been enjoying Iolo's new program on the Brecon Beacons, they have managed to capture the heart of the beacons in my opinion and I particularly enjoyed seeing the footage of Great Grey Shrike and the Dotterel. I've personally never seen a Dotterel but they look fantastic! 

I have however had one chance locally to see a Great Grey Shrike and that was last year in the Blaenserchan Valley. I was hoping for another chance this winter but weather has seen that opportunity off unfortunately. 

I just wanted to say thanks to Iolo Williams and everyone at Eden Productions for paying attention to this side of Wales because South Wales has been overlooked and it's been great having the limelight for a short while. I'm reminded of that fantastic opportunity we had in Pontypool to have one of the best wildlife presenters come to our local park and show us first hand how diverse our land actually is. I was very fortunate  to be part of that and I also wanted to give a shout out to all the production team. Graham Horder (Camera Man) also filmed Iolo's Brecon Beacons and has done a fantastic Job in making sure we get to see everything we see onscreen. I know first hand that getting wildlife in the lens can be extremely difficult and it can be equally as difficult (if not harder) to record the sound of that animal given our wet windy welsh weather (WWWW). The program I was in has finally made its way to Youtube so if you would like to watch it for yourself, here it is. I was extremely nervous in this program.. It's not everyday you get to meet your idols on Tv but looking back, it was such an amazing experience and I hope I get the chance again one day. 

Iolo's Great Welsh Parks

This Friday the Pontypool episode will be aired again on BBC 2 @ 7:00pm! If you haven't seen it yet, please watch it and let me know what you think?  


Facebook Famous for the day

Turns out lots of my friends watched the program last night and I couldn't have had a better responce. Lots of friend requests and comments all of which were very supporting and I'm so glad after watching it myself that it came across well considering my nerves. 
Most importantly though i'm glad that the episode showed some of the best highlights of Pontypool Park and I hope that it has encouraged and brought awareness to the people of Pontypool of how lucky we really are to have all this on our doorstep. In other news i'm still having problems with my Camera/Lens so I won't have much photography to post unless I get it sorted which is proving to be an expensive issue to sort. I'll most likely have to completely replace them so I'll be saving up for a while..

Iolo's Great Welsh Parks Credits

Iolo's Great Welsh Parks

Tonight on BBC 1 Wales a new series starts called Iolo's Great Welsh Parks, of which I feature on the very last episode in our very own park of Pontypool. I'm pretty nervous to see what the program turned out like as I really was nervous on camera... For now I'll enjoy the 3 episodes before.

In other news, I've now got a part time Job as a Web Developer for Evergreen Supplies in Newinn. It's not my ideal Job that's for sure but I'm really greatful to have it none the less and hopefully this will bridge the gap for long enough until I get the Job that I really want in Conservation. I have a meeting with the Gwent Wildlife Trust on friday in order to start volunteering which will also help me get the Job that I so desperately want in life.