A good kick up the backside.

Look I don’t want to sound like a martyr but I’ve been very busy these last years. And? Well, with some things I’ve taken my eye off the ball, my foot off the pedal, my mind off the prize. Enter stage left, Mr Andrew Parkinson.

I’ve known Andy for a few years and always respected his no-nonsense approach to wildlife photography. I also like the fact he thinks – far too much as it turns out! I recently spent a couple of weeks guiding with him on two of our Winter Wildlife tours (I’d been trying to recruit him as a tour leader for some time but he has over-inflated ideas about his financial worth) and he took the opportunity to remind me of some home truths – more than once. Trouble is, you can get too close to things to see them clearly and hands up, that’s what I’ve done with some of the feeding stations around our base, in particular our red squirrel sites.

So what’s the problem? Well nothing really but let’s face it, a red squirrel sat on a mossy stump has kind of been done. 5 years ago it was fine; today…well you have to move on and that’s what Andy politely pointed out (actually his rather dictatorial tone was far from polite as I recall). Andy’s fresh eyes and fresh ideas have given me a new perspective, a new energy and we’re embarking on a number of improvements to provide visiting guests with new opportunities. These flying/running/jumping squirrels are just the beginning.

So thanks to Andy (and it has to be said other guests too) for making some very helpful and constructive suggestions. We’ve always made a big play on our tours about the opportunity to learn from each other – and here’s a case in point. A good kick up the backside is what I needed and I feel so much better for it!

You can learn more about the enigmatic – and rather rude – Andy Parkinson by listening to my One 2 One interview with him here.