Wildlife photographer's lockdown calendar raises money for those in need
- Credit: Keith Gypps
An amateur wildlife photographer turned his lockdown photos into a calendar to raise money for free meals for children.
Keith Gypps, 62, who lives in Fowlmere, was inspired after seeing photos of owls on Therfield Heath which someone had taken during the first lockdown last year.
He said: "I went up and photographed them and I put up some photos, and many people liked them. I started doing daily posts which were well-received.
"I thought it might be a good idea to turn these pictures into a wildlife calendar."
Unfortunately Keith and his wife both caught COVID-19 last year, so for a while he was unable to go out and take photos for the posts.
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During his walks, Keith photographed a huge variety of birds - including tawny owls, marsh harriers, red kites, nuthatches, a kingfisher and a barn owl - as well as mammals such as deer and foxes.
He said: "I've been a wildlife photographer for 12 or 13 years - it's just a hobby."
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Once he had accumulated enough photos, Keith decided to sell his calendars to raise money for Make Lunch Royston, which provides food during the holidays for children who would normally receive free school meals.
He managed to sell 75 calendars in total, raising £325 for the charity.
"It felt great," he said. "It would have been nice to raise some more. I wasn't sure how much we'd be able to raise. I expected about a couple of quid per calendar so I was pleased.
"Louise from Make Lunch Royston at Trinity Life Church said they were very pleased.
"It's nice that you can use a hobby that gets you out in the fresh air and turn it into cash for a local charity."
The Royston branch of the charity is run by volunteers from local churches working alongside schools in the area, and is based at Trinity Life Church.
Louise Bradley, from Make Lunch Royston, said: "Make Lunch Club aims to fill the hunger gap by providing a meal, twice per week, to these children who may otherwise go without.
"Make Lunch is entirely funded by grants and donations and each holiday we receive more applications from local families asking for support.
"We are extremely grateful to Keith Gypps for his generous donation of £325, his gift will help us support more families this year."