A BOMFA, The Barn Owl Trust, and Baley.

Hello, this blog is about the brilliant week I had with the prizes I won for a BOMFA (Barn Owl Mini Film Awards).

I made the mini film to raise awareness of the plight of the Barn Owl. For four weeks our dining room table was taken up by the set of my animation. It seemed like four years to me! The film had many takes, and it was with frustration that I had to restart/edit because of the stray hand in front of the camera, or the wrong lighting. I could rename the film Blood, Sweat and Tears!

I feel so lucky to have received a number of prizes, and first I met Wildlife Photographer Russell Savory at Stow Maries Aerodrome in Essex, who gave me some great (and much needed!) advice on photography. I loved the combination of history and nature at the site. Thanks to Russell, I was lucky enough to see both a Green and Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Pied and Yellow Wagtails, lots of Swifts, a Kestrel, many Rabbits, and also a Barn Owl, which was the highlight of the day.IMG_20170528_192548246

Next, we headed west to Cornish Tipi Holidays. I loved lighting the fires, under supervision, in the fire pit to cook our dinners. The site was beautiful, with a small lake to row boats on. I think I recall reading that the site has seventy-one different species of wildlife, although mum is convinced she saw a Nightjar, which would make it seventy-two. The site was brilliant, and as I love camping and nature, it was perfect! When it came to the last day, we were all sorry to leave.Jack tipi fire lighting

On the way home we visited the Barn Owl Trust in Devon (on invitation), which my younger sister Lucy was ecstatic about, as she had previously adopted Baley the Barn Owl for her birthday, whom she met there. Mum, Dad, Lucy and I felt really privileged to be there. We saw a Kestrel brought in by a member of the public, and a Tawny Owl ringed by Rick. It made us all realise how important the work of the Trust is. Any owls or raptors which can be released are driven by the team to where they found to be safely released. Lexie, who works there, said one day they had two Tawny Owls found separately by well-meaning members of the public. But both owls were actually fine to be released after being checked over that same day. This all adds to the running costs of the Trust, and takes valuable time away from other duties. My Dad asked if the BOT had ever had a stall at the Birdfair, but funding a stall for three days and two staff salaries would also take away from the running costs of the Trust. But I think it would be wonderful to see the BOT at the Birdfair.IMG_0970IMG_0964

I would like to say thank you to everyone at the Barn Owl Trust for organising the BOMFA competition, and allowing me to have such an amazing time. Also, a huge thank you to Russel Savory for showing me the wildlife around Stow Maries Aerodrome, and to Cornish Tipi Holidays for their prize – we loved all of it! Lastly, thank you to the judges for choosing my animation.

Please click this link to help the BOT win a share of £20,000 from @FeelGoodPark.

Please click here to visit the BOT online shop

Please click on this to adopt a Barn Owl, which will make a fantastic birthday or Christmas gift.

Many thanks for reading


Welcome to my first blog!

Hello, my name is Jack, and I am a young animator and conservationist.

After watching the Lost Land series at the age of 7, I had asked my mum if I could email George McGavin, who was the entomology expert on the expedition. I remember telling George that my parents were letting me and my younger sister Lucy turn our small back garden into a nature reserve. When he so kindly replied, I was over the moon. That is what really got me into conservation. From there, I gave my mum the idea to bring nature to my old primary school, hence the school’s Forest School was created.

I have always loved Wallace and Gromit, so I thought, why not use animations as a way to show younger children the importance of conservation? At my old primary school, there was quite a lot of litter, especially the net bags used to hold oranges (one of those bags features in the ‘Litter Kills’ animation). I wanted to show children how just one single piece of litter can harm wildlife. I was delighted when I was asked by a teacher at the school to show Year 2 children how to animate, and also to show them my ‘Litter Kills’ animation. I was pleased when some parents and the teacher told my mum that the children had enjoyed it.

I was really happy to leave the school knowing that other children were keen to help wildlife thrive, and have the benefit of the Forest School too.

Many thanks for reading!