This is a work in progress. It's the story of my life with my two boys since moving to a special place where we all feel closer to nature than ever before. It's a magical garden where we can fly. It's a place where the boys can be free. Where they run, climb, wade through a giant pond and hide in a bamboo forrest. Where we walk through long grass and beneath ancient trees to catch the school bus. It's a place where they can watch ferns unfurl and tadpoles grow their legs. Where our day begins and ends with the resident song thrush singing his heart out.
And beyond the garden fence is a vast moorland to explore, where they can climb to the top of a huge tor and feel the strength of wind or the sound of silence. Where they can sit and watch wild ponies play and the sun going to bed. The images also show a bond between two brothers growing day by day. This reminds me of the importance of family and fills me with recognition and gratitude for all my parents and siblings gave me growing up.
Beyond the moor is the rest of the world and beyond childhood is adolescence, which has its challenges. I have been capturing my sons as they travel and encounter new landscapes, people and animals. How friends become a central part of the lives as they pull away from us as parents, how pets and rescued animals become a solace at times of stress. I've watched them awaken to girls... and love.
At a time when half the world's population is becoming urbanised and knowing less and less about nature, and in a country where less than 10% of all children play in woodlands, countryside or heaths, in a society when mobile phones and social media are an intrinsic part of most children's daily lives, I want to show with this work the importance of the natural world and animals in children's lives, for health on all levels, from physical to creative, but most of all on an emotional one.