Last week we got a phone call from Emma who lives in London. She had heard about Dara McAnulty’s Diary of a Young Naturalist and wanted to tell us about her daughter, Hope, who has been taking photographs of wildlife and plants around their home since she was 2 years old. Ever since she was a toddler, Hope has struggled to sleep, mother and daughter snatching just a few hours a night. Hope has also found the school environment hard; she loves learning but wishes it could be outside or at least not at desks. It wasn’t until lockdown happened that things started to change. Hope could spend more time outside taking photos in nearby parks and streets, and then come home and research what she had seen. Her biggest excitement was photographing a kestrel, after patiently waiting. Hope is autistic and her mum has noticed that her stress levels have dropped. She’s also started sleeping properly for the first time in her life.
Hope is now 8 years old and we think she’s got a lovely way of noticing the wildlife around her. She’s obviously got a lovely sense of humour, too, as the photograph of a pigeon’s bum suggest! Emma is really proud of her daughter, and so are we. “Hope is too young to have social media and doesn’t want to be famous,” says mum. “She just wants people to love nature and look after the planet.” We asked Emma and Hope if we could share these photographs and asked her to caption them – so here they are! We hope you enjoy seeing the world through Hope’s eyes.
Wood pigeon bum