Award-winning wildlife photographer Will Nicholls has had a field day in his gap year before starting university in September.
Will, 19, from Haydon Bridge in Northumberland, produced a book of his images titled On the Trail of Red Squirrels and also spent three months on a solo filming mission in Cambodia.
Now he has launched a website to help aspiring wildlife photographers follow in his footsteps.
Will, who will go to Exeter University to study zoology, said: “I wanted to make my gap year worthwhile.”
His new website is called Nature TTL, which stands for Nature Through the Lens.
The idea for the website came about after Will received lots of requests asking for advice and tips on nature photography.
He has persuaded top nature photographers to write for the website.
“It took a lot of begging but now we have a completely free resource for nature photographers covering both landscape and wildlife,” he said. ”I’ve pulled together an incredible team of contributors. We have the world’s best nature photographers on board.
“Our writers have, between them, won countless photographic awards - ranging from the winners of the British Wildlife Photography Awards to the winners of the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.”
The website features tutorials, images to provide inspiration and equipment news and reviews.
Will said: “The reaction has been amazing. I expected the website to be popular, but within nine hours of launching we had over 1,000 visitors.”
Will, who has spent thousands of hours photographing red squirrels near his home in Haydon Bridge, is aiming for a career as a documentary film maker.
He said that on his trip to Cambodia he witnessed “horrendous” levels of deforestation.
Will’s awards include Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 in the British Wildlife Photography Awards, overall winner in the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards 2011 and a “highly commended” in the Zoological Society Photographic Awards last year.
He says: “I am very lucky where I live because, just a few minutes from the house, we have a woodland that plays host to a population of red squirrels. Many people have never seen a red squirrel so I feel privileged to be able to spend so much time with them.
“It was photographing these squirrels that showed me photography and natural history was something I would be involved in for a long time.”