Photographer is wild about north Norfolk coastline

Otter with Plaice, by wildlife photographer Josh Jaggard. Picture: JOSH JAGGARD.

Otter with Plaice, by wildlife photographer Josh Jaggard. Picture: JOSH JAGGARD. - Credit: Archant

For wildlife photographer Josh Jaggard, capturing on camera the birds and mammals of the British coast and countryside is a labour of love, sometimes requiring weeks of planning and waiting to get the right conditions, the right light, and the right subject.

Wildlife photographer Josh Jaggard. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Wildlife photographer Josh Jaggard. Picture: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

'It's about getting that one shot, the photograph nobody else has taken,' he said. 'Sometimes it's just a question of pure luck, but I will often create a picture in my head, then try to reproduce it, which is always difficult.'

Mr Jaggard, whose work is on show at the National Wildlife Trust's Cley Marshes Visitor Centre until Thursday, began taking photographs in his teens, of the insects and birds in the garden of his childhood home at Wymondham.

After studying marine and natural history photography at University College Falmouth, the former Wymondham College student developed his passion for wildlife photography further, taking a job leading nature tours for amateur and professional photographers on the remote Scottish island of Shetland.

He now spends the autumn and winter working in Norfolk and the spring and summer months in Shetland, tracking animals ranging from gannets, razor bills and puffins, to otters and the notoriously difficult to photograph killer whale.

Puffins Arguing, by wildlife photographer Josh Jaggard. Picture: JOSH JAGGARD

Puffins Arguing, by wildlife photographer Josh Jaggard. Picture: JOSH JAGGARD - Credit: Archant


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'With orcas, you have to be one step ahead,' he explained. 'We usually get a report of a sighting, but, because I know the coast so well, we can keep leap-frogging them.'

Closer to home, projects have including producing films for the BBC wildlife series Springwatch and documenting the declining numbers of European eels in Norfolk for the Rivers Trust – a task which saw him don a wetsuit and swim in the freezing waters of the River Glaven to film the creatures in their natural habitat.

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Mr Jaggard, 26, achieved a 'huge life goal' when TV wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough visited north Norfolk to open the Simon Aspinall Education Centre at Cley last year – and took the time to watch his film Saving Species, made for Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

'I have followed David Attenborough's career and flew back from Shetland especially to meet him,' Mr Jaggard explained. 'He has been an inspiration to me because I think he brings wildlife to the general public and as soon as they hear his voice, people who might not normally be interested will listen.'

Backlit Otter, by wildlife photographer Josh Jaggard. Picture: JOSH JAGGARD

Backlit Otter, by wildlife photographer Josh Jaggard. Picture: JOSH JAGGARD - Credit: Archant

As well as winning prizes in top photography competitions including Bird Photographer of the Year and the British Wildlife Photography Awards, Mr Jaggard has had his work published in regional and national newspapers, and in other titles ranging from BBC Wildlife magazine, to Amateur Photographer.

Future projects include filming common cranes and grey seals and photographing his favourite animals – otters - in their underwater habitats.

'Of all the wildlife I've photographed, otters are my primary passion,' he said. 'They are elusive and it's that secrecy about them that makes them such a challenge to photograph.'

Wildlife photographs by Josh Jaggard will be on show at Cley Marshes Visitor Centre until November 10. To see more of his work, visit www.wildlife-photos.co.uk

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