This is my all time favourite shot. It would not have been possible without the help of an expert, here, Oxford cuckoo guru Mike Bayliss. The aim was to film a cuckoo laying in a reed warbler's nest, and several times we had come very close. After many hours in the hide I heard this female land heavily in the reeds to the right of the nest - I can still hardly believe it happened.
Iolo Williams – M4 relief road will plough across Gwent Levels
Iolo Williams – M4 relief road will plough across Gwent Levels. For several years the Welsh Government has threatened to drive a new motorway through the Gwent Levels. It’s the sort of thing that governments do. Perhaps they think that they will leave a legacy of some sort. They give little consideration to clean air and can only think in terms of growth, building and destruction.
For more information about nature conservation in Gwent take a look at the GWT website.
Making videos like this is something I encourage anyone involved in wildlife television to do. Anyone can do this, not just wildlife cameramen. Iolo volunteered his time to do this and so did my wife and I. It’s a simple video delivered with the passion and common sense that we’ve come to expect of Iolo. I count myself lucky to work with him as wildlife cameraman on many television projects.
There are so many threats to our environment that it can feel overwhelming. Politicians do not think far enough ahead. What will it be like to live in this area of South East Wales if they have their way. Apart from the environmental destruction the road will cost more than our little country can possibly afford. Predictions tell us that traffic will reduce in the years to come, so where is the sense in a completely new road.
Soon the Gwent Wildlife Trust will release a video of children talking about the proposed relief motorway. I feel privileged to have worked on this video. Soon you can see it here. With any luck you will see it everywhere. Young people shouldn’t have to look forward to a land of roads, trading estates, tightly packed housing and air that’s unfit to breathe. The Welsh Government needs to wake up and introduce a bit of imagination into its thinking. You cannot build yourself out of everything – eventually you will build yourself into a corner you cannot escape from.