#Hambleden #Oxfordshire #Countryside for #NCW13

Many of you have asked where my image that featured on the front page of ‘The Life’ supplement of The Sunday Telegraph last week was taken.

I took this picture just a couple of weeks ago in the picturesque village of Hambleden, Oxfordshire. Always a favourite spot for me to go to when I’m out and about in the Chilterns as to me it’s a quintessential English village. I had just been to the farmers market in the village which happens on the 2nd Saturday of every month (you must go if in the area!) and was talking to a lady who recommended the spot opposite her house for a good view of the village. Thankfully those few shots I took of the village from her recommendation paid off as the Editor of the Sunday Telegraph chose it for the front cover. I must buy the lady a cuppa and a slice of cake next time I see her in Hambleden.

Here is the full frame image that you will be able to enjoy from you computer screen along with a few more of my favourite images taken in recent weeks.

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That’s it for National Countryside week for this year supported by The Prince’s Countryside Fund. We have an amazing countryside out there for us to explore but remember our countryside did not just happen. It’s evolved from years of hard work from dedicated people who have worked the land we now all enjoy so much. Whilst the weather is still so great why not head out with the family and find your own favourite spots local to you and don’t forget your camera!

To find out more about The Princes Countryside Fund please click here

Heritage Harvest – using traditional skills to grow traditional cereal crops – #NCW13

A couple of weeks ago I met John Letts who runs Heritage Harvest in the Buckinghamshire Oxfordshire area. John and his small team help farmers grow heritage cereals for thatching straw and grain and distributes bread and flour through the Oxford Bread Group. The Prince’s Countryside Fund have helped John by giving him a grant to develop his business further. The Fund’s grant has helped to establish a demonstration farm and education centre of heritage wheat varieties in collaboration with a group of 100 thatchers, organic farmers and traditional millers. Their aim is to reduce the UK’s dependence on imported thatching materials while encouraging the development of this traditional skill and providing a valuable diversification opportunity for farmers. 10 school visits have taken place and 2 summer placements for agricultural students completed. The flour is now being used in 4 lines of Astons organic bakery and is available through the Tru Food Group with 350 members.

On a personal note John made me understand the problems we could potentially be facing as a result of global warming and how farmers need to diversify and change their farming methods in our ever changing climate. I was also introduced to some of the earliest forms of wheat including Einkorn which is one of the earliest forms of cultivated wheat dating back to 7500BC. John was very kind and loaded my car with eggs, 4 bags of flour, a sourdough starter and some fresh fruit picked from his allotment. Mrs Lord has since made some delicious sourdough bread using Einkorn and Rye flour.

Keep a look out for Heritage Harvest’s website, John is an excellent supplier of flour to anyone who enjoys baking real bread!

To find out more about the Princes Countryside Fund and how you could help please click here.

In the pictures below John is weeding the borders of the fields with a scythe, he does use motor driven vehicles for sowing and harvesting but enjoys using traditional tools where he can. I was given the opportunity to have a go with the scythe and lets just say I will stick to using a camera!



Pigs in the woods – National Countryside Week #NCW13

Following on from my post yesterday, this week I will be showcasing some of my countryside images taken in recent weeks. I know a man who lives locally who keeps free range pigs in a nearby woods in the Chilterns. I see Bruce and his produce at local farmers markets and have always thought what a wonderful experience it would be to photograph the pigs. A tweet came through a couple of weeks ago from @blackpigchills telling me the pigs were ready for their photo shoot. They have recently been filming for Downton Abbey for the next series so are getting used to life in front of the camera!

So one Sunday Becky and I travelled into the hills to meet Bruce and his pigs. We walked into the woods together and Bruce armed with a bucket of pig nuts gave the call. It wasn’t long before the pigs came trotting (bad pun) through the woods to us for a mid morning snack. It really was a fantastic sight, these pigs have a wonderful life in the woods with just 36 pigs to 14 Acres of land! That’s free range!!

The pigs are a cross of two rare and native breeds, the Berkshire pig and the Tamworth which when crossed produce high quality pork. Bruce has spent 8 years perfecting the perfect pig giving them the highest welfare standards and the most natural of habitats.

To find out more about The Black Pig in the Chiltern Hills please visit their new website by clicking here.

The Black Pigs produce can be found at The Quince Tree near Henley on Thames, Gather and Hunt, Marlow, and Ewelme Community Village Shop, Oxfordshire.

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BHP-ML-IMG_3750_098 BHP-ML-IMG_3768_100What does it taste like you say? Try for yourself!!!


It’s National Countryside Week this week….. #NCW13

This week is National Countryside week and in the last few weeks I have not only been photographing fabulous weddings, lovely people and drooling dogs but I have been busy taking photographs in our glorious countryside. So every day this week I will post a few images of our beautiful green and pleasant land.