A Llandre man has raised over £2,000 for charity by selling calendars filled with pictures of local wildlife and sunsets.

John Ibbotson has been taking photographs of Wales’ nature throughout his life capturing ‘rare’ wildlife encounters and ‘challenging’ photos. His photography skills have also led him to take part in multiple local exhibitions.

John said: “I have always been interested in photography and have spent many an evening over the years in Borth and Aberystwyth trying to capture some of the stunning sunsets that we enjoy.

“During the pandemic, photography and wildlife watching became much more than just a hobby as I was able to engage so much more with the nature around us.”

But 10 years ago, he decided to turn his hobby into a chance to raise money for charities and organisations he cares about.

In the 10 years since he started, John has raised over £20,000.

“I’ve been making calendars for about 10 years,” he said. “It started when I decided I wanted to do something with the many photographs I’ve taken instead of having them just sitting there on the computer.

“People told me I should make calendars with my pictures, so I had them made, posted about them on Facebook, and it took off from there.”

John Ibbotson
John Ibbotson has handed over cheques for £1,079 to both Mind and the Wildlife Trust (Picture supplied)

John donated the money he earned selling calendars to a variety of charities.

For the last three years he has donated the money to Aberystwyth charity Mind and the Wildlife Trust. This year, he donated £1,079 to each charity.

He said: “In recent years it seemed appropriate to donate the profit from the calendars to the Wildlife Trust and Mind in recognition of the importance nature and wildlife played to so many people in keeping them going during the pandemic.

“I have continued to donate to both causes as I feel it is important not to forget lessons learnt during the pandemic.

“Over the years I raised over £20,000 from calendar sales and several other charities have benefited from donations.”

The most recent batch of calendars contained some ‘rare’ sights and were challenging for John, requiring hours of patience and a lot of luck.

His favourite picture, of a kingfisher and heron (pictured above left), required a lot of both.

John said: “To be lucky enough to just see them both together there was amazing! My heart was in my mouth as I tried to line up this shot and I still can’t believe I managed it!

“Apart from the heron and kingfisher, the most challenging photo I took was of the southern hawker dragonfly in flight.

“It was technically difficult and it took a great deal of patience to find the best spot and wait there for over an hour taking hundreds of shots!”