Exhibition of natural history pictures opens in tribute to photographer

Nigel Aldis, chairman of Sandy Good Neighbours,  Fiona Chapman, chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council and David Yendall at the exhibition in Sandy.
Nigel Aldis, chairman of Sandy Good Neighbours, Fiona Chapman, chairman of Central Bedfordshire Council and David Yendall at the exhibition in Sandy.

An exhibition has opened in tribute to a wildlife photographer from Sandy, who died earlier this year.

David Tyler, who enjoyed a lifetime of capturing images of the natural world, especially butterflies, died just a few weeks before his 80th birthday.

David Tyler

David Tyler

An exhibition of his photographs, which was on view at Sandy library, is now on view at Biggleswade library.

The exhibition has been prepared by photographer and movie maker David Yendall.

Fellow photographer Richard Revels FRPS, who accompanied David over many years taking pictures, has paid tribute to the friend he has known since the mid-1960s.

He said: “His interest in nature started while at the school he attended in Stotfold, when a teacher got David and some of the other pupils interested in nature, and showed them how to rear caterpillars up to adult butterflies and moths. That teacher fired off an interest in nature which stayed with him all his life and it was through our mutual interest in breeding butterflies and moths that we first met.

“From the late 1960s up to about three years ago when ill health impeded his mobility, David frequently accompanied me on numerous trips to various locations across searching for butterflies and wildlife pictures.”

During the late 1970s David, a member of Bedfordshire Natural History Society, started photographing insects and other kinds of British wildlife himself and he soon became a very competent nature and landscape photographer, with a number of his pictures regularly being accepted in several national and international photographic exhibitions.

He later joined the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) and gained their Associateship Distinction (ARPS) with a panel of insect transparencies.

Richard added: “Anybody interested in nature should go along to the exhibition to see these super pictures taken by the late David Tyler.”

Over the years David accompanied Richard on many hundreds of trips out into the countryside searching for wildlife and landscape pictures.

He said: “During the late 1980s and 1990s I hired a cottage for a week each autumn near Strontian, which stands on the wooded banks of Loch Sunart, in the western highlands of Scotland, and David particularly enjoyed coming there and photographing the pine martens that use to breed in the attic of the cottage, and would regularly come during the evening to the baited logs that we set up for them.

“David had a keen eye, and on our trips out he often spotted things that I had missed. In Bedfordshire one of his best finds was a colony of Navelwort Umbillicus rupestris growing on a road verge that leads up to the ‘Pinnacle’ that overlooks the town of Sandy, where he lived during the last 20 or so years of his life.

“Navelwort is a common plant in the coastal areas of western Britain, but is rare in central England, and that colony of plants which still survives on that bank today, is the only known colony within 60 miles of Bedfordshire.

“I have many happy memories of David spanning many years, and until recently when his health started to fail him he was always keen to accompany me on my wanderings into the countryside looking for wildlife pictures, and he helped with the Bedfordshire’s wild orchid survey during 2013 when he was still able get about on the less physically demanding places.

“David was a talented wildlife photographer and a kind and helpful man who was always willing to help me and others whenever he could, and was one of my best friends.

“I will always remember him as someone who had a smile on his face and an eagerness to help whenever he could. The world is a poorer place now that he is no longer with us.”