Lockdown gave many of us the chance to reconnect with nature and what was important in our lives.

For one Nottinghamshire wildlife lover adding photography to the mix helped her through the pandemic.

Now she hopes to inspire others to pick up a camera as part of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge.

Sophie Bell is a Wildlife Trust volunteer. During lockdown she set up a wildlife photography page (@adayinthewildlifesoph) to share her local nature and knowledge with others.

She said: “Wildlife photography kept me in touch with nature through a very tough time and I want to continue making sure I don’t lose this connection as life starts to get busier again.

Sophie Bell, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Volunteer
Sophie Bell, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Volunteer

“During 30 Days Wild I am going to be exploring more and taking photographs of as many different animals I can find in my local area – whether that be red deer at Wollaton Hall, or a bumblebee in my back garden!”

Sophie is encouraging Nottinghamshire residents to take up the challenge too by connecting with local wildlife through photography every day throughout the month of June.

Photography is a wonderful way to share nature and connect with others, plus you don’t have to be an expert to get involved as most phones have amazing cameras, especially for close up shots of insects and small creatures.

Sophie's picture of a bee
Sophie’s picture of a bee

Sophie said: “It can be extremely therapeutic to take photos, as well as exciting when you manage to get a good shot. It’s something that you don’t have to take too seriously, just working with what you have and giving it a try is a lot of fun!

“Something a bit different always makes an interesting photograph. Have a go at taking a picture of wildlife you wouldn’t usually take much notice of. Then, you could make it another act of wildness to find out what you have photographed. It is a great way to learn more about the nature on your doorstep.

“For example, over the weekend, my car broke down on the motorway, but I realised there was a lot of life even at the side of the road. I pulled out my phone and started trying to get a good video of a bumblebee, something I might not usually notice or stop to take a photo of. This gave me a newfound appreciation for the nature that surrounds us even in the most unexpected places.”

For wildlife photography inspiration head over to Sophie’s Instagram page and be sure to share your nature photographs using #30DaysWild on social media, or join The Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild group on Facebook with almost 50 thousand other wildlife fans https://www.facebook.com/groups/382991451896661