Chris Hollis

Location: Burton on Trent, Staffordshire
About me...

I am a freelance wildlife photographer, filmmaker, author and highly skilled public speaker with over 20 years of experience under my belt. I originally hail from Stourbridge in the Black Country and I introduce what I do as ‘a Black Country Lad Explores’ because that is just exactly what I do…I explore…I enjoy and I photograph and record what I see and hear.

About my talks...

I am able to talk on any wildlife subject you care to mention or suggest and engage my audience on a whirlwind tour of the subject at hand. I talk usually for about an hour but this is eminently flexible given the nature of audiences and organisations.
I do standalone digital slideshows, but also, now, High Definition video film nights too.

I can talk both formally at dinners and informally to groups alike. So if you want an entertaining and informative talk then I am definitely your man.

Fee:

£45.00 (includes travel within a 20 mile radius of my base which is in Stanton, Burton on Trent)

My Contact Details:
Phone:

07876 276629

Talk 1. Wildlife of the Picos de Europa

1. Picos of Europe

Come and join the Black Country Lad as he explores this incredible region of Northern Spain. It simply drips with wildlife gems and would take a full lifetime to explore properly. See Bears, Wolves and a wealth of wildflowers, birds and fabulous butterflies. This is not to be missed.

Talk 2. Garden Wildlife

2.garden wildlife

Closer to home I explore all of the wildlife to be found in our suburban gardens, from Foxes to Bluetits, Butterflies to Smooth Newts. They are all there in this highly informative talk covers the whole range of the plants and animals to be found in our gardens and how to protect and encourage the wildlife which visits from time to time.

Talk 3. A Year in the Woods

3.a year in the woods talk

Talk 3. A Year in the Woods. A fabulous winter to winter look at a broad-leaved wood in lowland Britain. This talk is packed full of badgers, red squirrels, deer, stunning rare wild orchids and delicate butterflies together with amazing Autumn colour and fabulous fungi which all add to the rich tapestry of wildwood.

Talk 4. A tale of Dragons and Damsels

4.dragonflies and damselflies talk

The Black Country Lad explores the wealth of our dragon and damselflies in this watery excursion. A wild and murderous ride below the water’s surface followed by the elegance and wild beauty of adult dragons as they hunt and patrol a beat alongside our rivers and ponds. This talk also looks at the other inhabitants of the dragonflies world and explores how they all interact with each other to create the most amazing of wildlife habitats.

Talk 5. The Cevennes

5.cevennes talk

Come with the Black Country Lad to the South of France to the Cevennes Region. A fantastic area for wildlife, it has spectacular fish filled, deep river gorges and table like Causses, flat agricultural areas which just teem with butterflies and wildflowers. Around every corner there are new and exciting wildlife delights and the Black Country Lad explores them all, from birds to bats, from fish to frogs and all wildlife points in between. This is not to be missed.

Talk 6. The Birds of Norfolk

6.the birds of norfolk talk

This is an area of the UK which I know well and love. It’s packed with birds all year round and I explore the richness of Norfolk’s birdlife throughout the seasons. Winter has immense clouds of geese and fabulous wader flocks wheeling over bleak estuaries with a wonderful beauty all their own; while summer has wild reedbeds throbbing with the raucous songs of Sedge Warbler and spectacular Marsh Harriers drifting over wetlands alive with ducks and other water birds. All are there in this richly illustrated talk. Come and discover Wild Norfolk with the Black Country Lad.

Talk 7. A Wild Goose Chase

7.

Discover the world of this fascinating family of birds. From Pygmy Geese right up to vast flocks of Pink Feet and Snow Geese these enigmatic birds are found the world over. Discover two fabulous locations for geese, the wild open North Norfolk coast and the windswept but oh so beautiful island of Islay in the inner Hebrides. The Black Country lad will take you on a guided tour of these wild places and will help you take a long peek at the habitats, birds and animals which live there.

Talk 8. Wildlife of Shetlands Simmer Dim

8.

This beautiful and informative presentation takes the audience on a tour around the islands of the Shetland group in the far north of Scotland. Indeed the Shetland Islands are closer to Norway than Scotland and this is reflected in the wildlife and culture of these beautiful islands. Home to Gannets, Divers and the infamous Bonxie, Shetland drips with fabulous wildlife just waiting to be discovered. The landscape is stunning, bleak and wonderful, but alive with birdsong and swaying beds of cotton grass, it has a stark beauty all its own. Come with me to revel in this fabulous place where the sun never sets all summer long.

Talk 9. Aliens Amongst Us

9. aliens amongst us

Join me on a journey, a journey to see things you may never have seen before. This fully illustrated presentation looks closely, and I do mean closely at the world of weird wildlife. It’s packed full of huge eyes, insect sex and graphic details of insects eating each other! Oh and it’s got fungi in it too. So a good old fashioned health warning is in order. If you’re of a squeamish disposition or are easily unsettled then give this talk a WIDE berth, but if you’re curious and want to be entertained royally with humour and amazing facts then this is the talk for you. Go on try it, you know you want to.

Talk 10. The Twelve Beasts of Christmas. *Christmas talk and/or Quiz*

10. Christmas

A new and fun take on the popular Christmas carol, but featuring an eclectic mix of animals to tell the story. This light hearted talk is full of bats, Bonxies, birds and smelly horns to name just a few. And you get to sing as well! How cool is that. It’s a must for all your Christmas get togethers and can be combined with a great Christmas wildlife quiz too all put together by the Black Country Lad. All in all a fun package for any ‘do’.

Talk 11. Beneath

11. beneath

A new fully illustrated talk exploring the wonderful hidden world of creatures ‘Beneath’. Beneath the bark, Beneath the leaf litter and Beneath the waves in this fascinating peak into the world of false scorpions, woodlice, springtails, slow-worms and periwinkles. It’s a shortish talk (around 30-45 minutes) and can easily be dove-tailed with any of my other presentations.

Talk 12. Birds of Prey

12

Exciting, enigmatic, brutal but never dull, birds of prey have fascinated man for thousands of years. Consummate, top of the food chain predators, falcons, eagles, vultures, hawks and a whole host of other members of the birds of prey clan are here in this informative exploration of all things ‘raptory’. As with many of my fully illustrated talks this one has a sting in the tail too, an unusual take on the very notion of birds of prey which will, I hope, broaden your vision of the concept of just what is a bird of prey. Not to be missed.

Talk 13. Our Wonderful Wetlands

13.

Join the Black Country Lad on this fully illustrated wild tour of our British wetlands, a unique and fragile habitat which is becoming scarcer by the year. Since the 50s we have lost well over 90% of our field corner ponds, critical habitats for a wide range of insects and amphibian species. Come with me and explore all that our wetlands have to offer, it’s insects, flowers, fish, birds and mammal species are all described here in some detail together with a look at the different types of wetland habitats that there are in Britain too. As usual this talk is delivered in an accessible, light hearted but highly informative way.

Talk 14. The Camargue

14. The Camargue

Join the Black Country Lad for a tour of this most iconic wildlife site on the French Mediterranean coast. Marvel at thousands of Flamingos and gaze with wonder at Coypu, Egrets, Herons, Cuckoos, countless Tree Frogs, huge numbers of Bats after dark and a wealth of special wildflowers and a myriad of insects too. The area is one of the richest places for wildlife in Europe and each year tens of thousands of birds visit and stay to breed in this fabulous wetland landscape. The Camargue is justly one of the most famous wetland areas in the whole of Europe and worthy of any visit, whether it’s a virtual one as here or in reality. This talk is richly illustrated with images from my own vast image library.

THESE ARE MY NEW TALKS - LAUNCHED IN 2016

Talk 15. The Farne Islands.

15. Hollis. Farnes

Situated off the Northumberland coast, out into the chilly North Sea lie the Farne Islands. home to countless seabirds and hundreds of Atlantic Grey Seals.Join me for a half movie; half illustrated talk excursion to these amazing islands. See Puffins, Razorbills, Fulmars, Shags, Arctic and Sandwich Terns and get a glimpse of the extremely rare Roseate Tern in this wonderfully evocative image, sound and video presentation. A rare and unusual experience and not to be missed.

Talk 16. Our Wild, Wild Meadowlands.

16. Hollis. mead

Do you remember the halcyon days of wandering up hill and down Dale, enjoying the view and then lying back staring at the cloudless sky while an natural orchestra of grasshoppers and crickets serenaded you, in a rich, green meadowland of old? If the answer is yes, then why not come with me to relive those happy days when meadows overflowed with wild flowers and ‘buzzed’ and ‘fluttered’ with countless bees and gorgeous butterflies of many species. This lavishly illustrated talk will whisk you back to those childhood days when summers were hot and meadows were at their richest in wildlife terms. Not to be missed.

Talk 17. The Life in Your Pond.

17. Hollis. pond

Do you know what goes on behind the ‘watery closed doors’ of your garden pond? No? well now is the time to find out. Your pond is a dynamic wild ecosystem every bit as exciting and dangerous as the Serengeti plains of Africa. It’s home to dragons and damsels and voracious water beetles to name just a few of the many players in this natural tableaux of life and death in the garden. Temper these hunting beasts with a smattering of gentle and benign newts and other amphibians and you have the opening setting for a majestic, many act play full of natural wonders. This lavishly illustrated talk will guide you through all the dramas, the ups and downs of this watery soap opera and hopefully draw back the veil of this richest of wildlife habitats….your pond.

Talk 18. My Life as a Wildlife Photographer.

Chris Hollis  Public Speaker and Photographer talks about My Life as a Wildlife Photographer.

I have been passionate about wildlife since I was in the womb! I worked as a Countryside Ranger for the thick end of twenty five years and, over the last thirty years or so I have also been an enthusiastic wildlife photographer and filmmaker with an image library now (2016) of some one million photographs…..and counting! Come with me as I show you the highlights of my ‘wild’ photographic career and share with you some of the highs and lows of my life as a wildlife photographer and documentary filmmaker. This illustrated talk is full of colour and wild adventures shot through with lots of reflective and thought provoking images too. Not to be missed.

Talk 19. The Glorious Natural History of Britain's Wild Coastline.

coastline wildlife

With over 11,000 miles of coast around mainland Britain alone it’s easy imagine that our island has some of the most wildlife rich coastal habitats in Europe. With sandy beaches, rocky coves, towering sea cliffs, saltmarshes and estuaries the possibilities for great wildlife hotspots is endless. Come with me to explore the whole range of wildlife which lives at the very edges of Britain. Delve into rock-pools, explore sand dunes and marshlands rich in flowers and insects and marvel at hoards of wheeling waders and seabirds in this lavishly illustrated excursion into the wilderness that is our special coastline.

Talk 20. The New Forest, a Wildlife Wonderland.

New Forest

Lying squarely across Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire the New Forest has long held and attraction for me as a naturalist and photographer. The National Park (est. 2005) covers over 219 sq. miles of breath-taking heathlands, broad-leaved  and conifer woods and numerous rivers, mires and marshes besides. This variety of habitats is home to a mouth-watering array of wildlife from rare snakes and lizards right up to plants and insects found nowhere else in Britain. This highly illustrated talk will take you on a wild roller coaster of a journey across the many animals and plants which make the Forest their home. Be prepared for a sensory overload of rare and beautiful plants, exotic dragonflies and an autumn landscape which will make you weep at its beauty.

Talk 21. Garden Birds.

Chris Hollis Photographer and Public Speaker talks about Garden Birds.

One of the great pleasures of having a garden of any size or description are the birds which visit it from time to time. This fully illustrated talk looks at the variety of our avian visitors, with some surprising garden birds being revealed in the mix. The talk will also try to help gardeners understand how to best attract the widest range of species to come and share our outdoor spaces. So if you like Blue-tits, Chaffinches, Blackbirds and maybe even….Red Kites too! this is THE talk for you.