At one point last year I was taking so many pictures of sheep that my friends started to seriously question both my sexuality and mental health. Truth is (and Sean aside) I love everything about the Countryside. I was brought up on the Surrey/Kent border in a lovely little Town called Oxted where you were never more than 10 minutes away from a decent walk (and the smell of Cow shit). Half my relatives were based on a small Cattle Farm so I was constantly spoilt by the ammount of "green" (the legal variety) I had around me. 

I use to think I was incredibly uncool showing interest in Wildlife but this alll changed after subscribing to National Geographic and I quickly realised how incredibly lucky I am with this all on my doorstep. I run a lot and now find myself itching to get out every weekend with a Camera in hand.

 

The Country is cool people.

Eddie

This Bald Eagle photo was taken at a Bird Sanctuary near Andover. Amazing looking things. Wouldn't mess.

 

 

Rocking

What's a section of the country without a pic of Robin?! One of the most pictured birds in the country. Unknown to most of you also one of the most territorial with a serious case of small bird disease apparently.

 

 

Farming

I took this whilst walking near Salcombe. Having spent a lot of my childhood on a Farm I love "old school" Tractors.

 

 

Horses

Great big animlas they are. Hopefully these photo's reflect what soppy and hugely protective creatures they are too. I love the light of all these three shots. The shot on the left in particular really highlights that us Humans are not the only ones that like a damn good hug.

 

 

 

Beacon Hill

This stunning view point near Newbury is a 5 minute drive for me and my "go to" place for when I need a nice stroll. Because it is so exposed to the elements many of the tree's end up leaning heavily against the hill. The Hill overlooks Highclere Castle where the famous Downton Abbey is filmed.

 

The shot above is taken from the same point as opposite - just simply from the other side of the tree. A great example of how light can completely transform a scene (first against and then with the sun behind)

 

 

Lest we Forget

The Poppie. One of Britains most iconic Flower. These 3 images were all taken 5 minutes from my house.

 

 

 

Fat Birds

I love a bit of Macro action and Labybirds are the perfect subject (mainly becuase they move relatively slowly and bright red). This cheeky little thing on the right is clearly stuffing it's face with something.

East Prawle

All 3 images below were taken in a little Village in South Devon just east of Salcombe. I visited in October and East Prawle really summed up everything I have learnt to love about Devon. A tucked away Church in the rolling Hills, new born Lambs popping out all over the place - it's honestly Countryfile heaven..John Craven would have a field day!

 

 

 

Busy Bee!

 

Bee's literally don't stop. These things work super hard and just so happen to also be cute fury looking things.  Wasps literally have nothing on these dudes. 

Spring is a brill time of year and as I type my small but perfectly formed garden is teaming with life.

Bee's aren't the only thing buzzing and you only have to step oustide on a Saturday afternoon to hear the hum of Lawnmowers. Definately not a time of year to be stuck inside..

 

The Cleves

This a stunning area that sits between the two sleepy Hampshire Villages of Longparish and Tufton. The area hosts a wealth of wildlife with many a walkway crossing over the River Test. It's so nice in fact I've treated you all to 6 snaps of this popular walking area.

7pm

If you hadn't spotted a great deal of my shots are taken at sunset. The below photos were all taken at roughly 7pm (I know this because this is precisely the time I go out to avoid putting the Kids to bed!). It is without doubt my favourite light of the day.

Middle of Nowhere

This could be anywhere within 50miles of home - taken whilst out running this shot may seem unremarkable to most but I feel very fortunate to have this type of landscape on my doorstep

Sean

First off. I'm not Welsh and I also don't live in New Zealand but fair to say if you live in the Hampshire Countryside you can't avoid Seans. There's shed loads of the things and in celebration of that (and the fact Lamb is in fact my favourite meat) here's 3 photos of the fury things.

Green and  Yellow 

 

Every April and May the British Countryside is transformed into a colour scheme not disimilar to the Jamican Flag. Rapeseed is an incredibly bright and (unfortunatelty named) yellow flower which really brings out the remaining green landscape. That said for all Hayfever sufferers this stuff is the Devil!

I am truly guilty of taking way too many photos of this stuff but here's the best of the bunch just for you crazy kids.  Weirdly Yellow is one of my least favourite colours but for some reason this proves the exception.

The Long and Winding

Fair to say my obsession with taking pictures of Country roads is right up there with my addiction to Pickled Onion Monster Munch and diet coke when I'm hungover. Here's a few of them. Typically the best shots are taken when you're slap bang the middle of the road which is obviously not advised but you're welcome to give it a bash.

Blossom init

Brrrrr!

Winter is a pretty magical time of year. Not just becuase people get to laugh at people wearing shocking Christmas jumpers but also becuase the Countryside turns a lovely shade of Silver.  The 3 shots below were all taken whilst I was wearing long johns. I'll leave that thought with you.

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© George Hiles