The scarce digger wasp Crossocerus binotatus

Welcome to Nature Conservation Imaging. Here's hoping you enjoy your visit, recommend the site to your friends - and return.

Nature is all around us and for sheer variety lowland England south of a line drawn from The Wash to Dorset, with its mild climate and different habitats, has much to offer. For amateur naturalists like me who do something else for a living it is not a bad place to be based. Granted, the area is becoming increasingly crowded with people and infrastructure, making genuine wilderness non-existent, and the situation is likely to deteriorate if misguided and environmentally unsound government policies continue to be pursued with blind enthusiasm.

These policies see developing this part of Britain as both viable and desirable as a means of furthering economic growth. To that end, it is claimed 240,000 new homes will need to be built each year up to 2031, 60% of which would be in southern England. That's a total of 2,300,000 new homes in the south between 2016 and 2031, despiteHornet Robber-fly (Asilus crabroniformis) surely inevitable problems with transport, water and the disposal of waste, both organic and non-organic.

Lowland England, of course, is only one part of a larger entity, the UK, which boasts abundant spectacular scenery and wildlife - and sites and species under threat. But perhaps the fact that this part of England contains more people, and is attracting more than any other region, makes it a better test case. Simply, if we cannot get it right here, there is no moral authority to give advice to other parts of the country, or other countries, especially less-developed ones, regarding how they might behave.

Luckily most wildlife does not require wilderness, though that's no justification for putting concrete and tarmac over more and more hectares with each passing year. Southern wetlands, rivers, woodland, hedgerows, heathland, downland, coasts and, in urban areas, parks and gardens are all filled with nature, some of it large and obvious but the greater part small, unobtrusive and secretive.

This website aims to provide a glimpse into what is a fascinating, beautiful, often savage, and frequently underappreciated world, one which in many respects functions on a knife edge because of the pressure people place on it. If the site helps to encourage greater understanding and protection, so much the better.

Images © Jeremy Early. All rights reserved.

In 2013 I published My Side of the Fence - the Natural History of a Surrey Garden. Details may be found, and orders placed, via this hyperlink My Side of the Fence. In November 2015 Surrey Wildlife Trust published the atlas Soldierflies, their allies and Conopidae of Surrey, jointly written by David Baldock and me. Details are on this web page: Atlas.