The difficulties of COVID 19 have been numerous, but we have also seen a really positive by-product; the growing love of our wildlife!
Having moved to the Chilterns from a London suburb last year, I indulged more in my “serious hobby” of wildlife photography and wildlife walking – a great escape from my corporate role in Contract Management. However, I had never envisaged that what I loved could become business!
It started with a wildlife Facebook group I created in Goring Gap Wildlife on Facebook, where I shared walk information and images of wildlife I was seeing – and this grew from 5 to 300 people in less than a month. This suddenly led to requests from group members –asking for walks (group and private), photography lessons or prints of my photos. I became published in several local publications including front covers!
So, a combination of my love for walking, expert knowledge of wildlife, wildlife photography expertise, desire to share knowledge and the clear demand in the area, meant GG Wildlife Walks was born!
My Instagram page where I post walk information, imagery and wildlife observations ( www.instagram.com/GGWildlifeWalks ) has now over 1300 followers! A lot of them are active, which is really great – many local to The Chilterns, but some from other parts of the UK – and some other parts of the world!
I have carried out over 100 walks since July, of varying sizes – ranging from Group scheduled walks, to private bespoke 1 to 1’s…. I have also provided specific wildlife photography sessions for amateur photographers – or beginners just wanting to improve their skills. And also “At Home Wildlife Watch” for those unable to get out and walk.
My Gift Voucher options have been really popular – people have loved gifting to other a really unique present of a wildlife walk or event to others. The vouchers can be bespoke and delivered with a wildlife print card.
New events include Chilterns Walking Festival, Family Friendly Wildlife Walks with Spotting, Partnerships with lovely, high end hotels like The Swan at Streatley, Great Fosters in Egham, The Great House at Sonning, and Barnett Hill – all wanting wildlife tours for their guests.