Elliott Neep: Wildlife Photographer & Founder of ProHides
I’m a British wildlife photographer, tour leader and writer. You can Google me if you want. I’m the only Elliott Neep on the planet, so I shouldn’t be too hard to find. To find out more about me and view my work, visit my website at www.elliottneep.com
I’ve spent the past decade travelling around the UK, East Africa, India and the Polar Regions photographing wildlife ranging from the minuscule to the immense. I regularly spend time in the Arctic during the British summer, but in 2013, I spent the summer at Helen Browning’s Organic Eastbrook Farm on the North Wiltshire Downs, part of the Wessex Downs AONB. I was commissioned to simply observe the wildlife and photograph what I could from my 4×4 and the odd pop-up hide.
In a short space of time, I’d discovered an incredible richness in the mosaic of habitats: Huge and highly active badger setts, red foxes, roe deer, muntjac, fallow deer, brown hare, water vole, stoats, barn owls, tawny owls, little owls, kingfisher, buzzards, red kites, sparrowhawks, woodpeckers, grey partridge, big numbers of skylarks and corn buntings, starling murmurations, golden plovers, lapwings, a valley full of orchids and wildflowers and marbled white butterflies…. the list goes on and on!
So, the thought occurred to me… “There is so much potential, I know others would want to photograph here at the farm.” But there was only limited public access and no hides. So I approached Helen Browning herself and put forward my observations and ideas. The response was incredible. A new joint venture was created and ProHides at Eastbrook was launched.
Since that winter, I have been continuing my observations and narrowing down the best locations for wildlife photography hides. Locations that are out of the way from the regular activities of the farm, enclosed and protected from the inquisitive cattle, but also accessible and close enough to the key animal dens, nests and roosts.
Richard Peters: Wildlife Photographer
Richard has travelled and photographed in some of the most beautiful and varied parts of the world including Yellowstone National Park, Hawaii, Lake Kerkini on the Greece/Bulgarian border and Africa’s Maasai Mara. When he isn’t behind a camera or holding workshops at home or abroad, Richard also hosts talks about his work which have included venues such as the Natural History Museum, London, as well as representing Nikon at the UK’s biggest trade events, The Photography Show and the BirdFair.
Richard’s style often favours use of light over subject when photographing wildlife and, over the last five years, his work has been recognised internationally in the worlds most prestigious competitions including twice in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and, in 2015, he was also named the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year. As well as having their work published all over the world, both Elliott and Richard are contributing photographers to the unprecedented Remembering Elephants book, a fund raising effort partnered with the Born Free Foundation to aid conservation efforts.
Our partner is Helen Browning, founder of Helen Browning’s Organic brand, The Royal Oak pub in Bishopstone, Chief Executive of the Soil Association and chair of the Food Ethics Council. Prior to rejoining the Soil Association, Helen was Director of External Affairs for the National Trust. Helen was also a member of the Government’s Policy Commission on the Future of Farming and Food (‘the Curry Commission’) and chaired the England Animal Health and Welfare Implementation Group.
“We work this beautiful place for the benefit of our livestock, improving the environment and landscape, and hopefully creating interesting, fun and satisfying jobs at the same time. And we produce organic food from all this.”
The Browning family have been tenants since 1950, since when the farm has grown to about 1,400 organic acres across the north Wiltshire Downs, right on the Oxfordshire and Berkshire borders. Helen Browning has run the farm since 1986, when she started to move it towards organic status. Read more about Helen’s approach to farming here.