Hi, my name is Victoria Hillman and with your help I would like to publish a book and mount an exhibition in Bath (22nd February - 17th March 2018) to encourage people of all ages to get outdoors, search for the smaller species and engage with the nature on their doorsteps.
Through creative photography, the stories behind the images and interesting scientific facts about plants, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles I will showcase the beauty and character of these forgotten little creatures within a 40 mile radius of my home in Frome.
By encouraging others to find and understand the importance of these smaller species I hope that they will help protect them and their habitats for future generations to enjoy and the health of our local ecosytem.
To quote Dr George McGavin - "but what really excites me still are the much smaller animals, the ones that make all ecosysytems tick.
Who are the Forgotten Little Creatures?
These are the plants, invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles which are often feared, ignored, overlooked and even forgotten about despite the important role they play in their habitats. I hope to widen the appreciation of them and show their beauty and characters along with demonstrating the wide variety we all have on our doorsteps.
Why I believe this project is important
During my research and photography of a wide range of little creatures near my home it became very clear there is a lack of media coverage - particularly positive coverage - of them and the critical roles they play in maintaining healthy ecosystems not to mention just how fascinating they can be.
Through the book and exhibition I hope to raise awareness and encourage people to engage with and make some space for nature in their gardens through planting wildflowers, leaving part of your garden to go wild, build a small pond or join local nature groups.
There are so many small things we can all do to help give these little species homes and in turn help our ecosystems flourish.
"If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight the rest of the world would get on pretty well; but if invertebrates were to disappear the world's ecosystems would collapse" - Sir David Attenborough
Why am I Crowdfunding?
Over the last four years I have taken photographs and gained a wealth of information and now I would like, through publishing a book and mounting an exhibition to share this as widely as possible to encourage people of all ages to become more interested and engaged with the amazing little species around us.
I have funded the research, photography and writing of the book myself and now would love your help to share these images and stories with others to help safeguard the future of these little heroes.
Where The Money Will be Used
The funds raised through this project will be used to publish the book and mount the exhibition.
The book will feature a selection of over 100 photographs that artfully illustrate just some of the incredible species found within a 40 mile radius of Frome combined with the stories behind the images, technical details and interesting science facts about the species. The book is being published by Redfern Publishing in Dorset.
The exhibition will feature a selection of images from the book together with other images from the project as aluminium prints and mounted and framed prints.
I am offering a range of rewards that I hope you will find interesting. They are designed to be part of the overall aim of sharing and promoting the project (please get in touch if you would like to donate and have the book and/or print sent overseas).
Image choices for the A4 signed mounted prints
From a very early age I have loved being outdoors and over the years I have developed my own unique style of photography that is creative whilst capturing the beauty and characters of my subject. I have been fortunate to have worked as a wildlife guide in Scotland and as a National Geographic Explorer for a project based in Romania working with a team of dedicated photographers, guides and nature lovers. My photography has been recognised through a number of awards and I have been published in several magazines including a special article on my macro photography in Wild Planet Magazine.
I am a scientist by training with a BSc in Zoology with marine Zoology and an MSc in Wildlife biology and Conservation and this science background helps me to research and understand my subjects and how they interact with their habitats. This helps me to achieve more intimate images and capture behaviours that are rarely seen.
Thank You Everyone
Thank you for your interest and I hope that you are able to make a pledge to help encourage everyone to explore their local wildlife.
I'd love to see you at the main exhibition - Forgotten little Creatures - at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, 16-18 Queen's Square, Bath, BA1 2HN between 22nd February and 17th March 2018 (Monday - Saturday 10am - 4pm).
Beyond This Project
My work on Forgotten Little Creatures doesn't stop here. I would like to continue this project expanding it to the rest of the UK and Europe, learning more about these forgotten little creatures and capturing and sharing their characters and beauty.