Whitley Bay wildlife photographer aims to make neglected space a nature reserve

Wildlife photographer Cain Scrimgeour filmed the wildlife on a neglected green space behind Sainsburys in Whitley Bay

Wildlife film maker and photographer Cain Scrimgeour
Wildlife film maker and photographer Cain Scrimgeour

Wildlife photographer and film maker Cain Scrimgeour has scoured the most remote parts of the region in his search for subjects.

But Cain, 23, didn’t have far to travel for his latest project.

He has produced a film documenting wildlife on a site near his home in Whitley Bay to show how much wildlife can be found in urban areas.

“It’s a few minutes across the road from my house,” said Cain.

Wildlife film maker and photographer Cain Scrimgeour
Wildlife film maker and photographer Cain Scrimgeour
 

The council-owned land is behind Sainsbury’s supermarket in West Monkseaton and includes a shelter belt of trees, a stream and pond and what was an area of open green space which over the years has naturally developed into scrub and meadow.

“The meadow flowers have been able to grow because the site’s rabbits keep the vegetation down,” said Cain, who said the land had adjoined a housing development around 20 years ago.

He has been filming on the site since March, with a particular focus on a pair of nesting sparrow hawks.

He has also found otter and roe deer droppings at the site and has recorded 63 species of plants, 12 species of butterfly, more than 60 species of birds, nine species of bee, 10 species of mammal, and two species of amphibians.

Wildlife film maker and photographer Cain Scrimgeour, who wants North Tyneside Council to make land in West Monseaton a nature reserve
Wildlife film maker and photographer Cain Scrimgeour, who wants North Tyneside Council to make land in West Monseaton a nature reserve
 

He is to present his findings to North Tyneside Council in a bid to have the land designated as a nature site.

“People travel considerable distances to see wild areas but sometimes they are right under their noses,” said Cain.

But he is concerned that a new housing development, currently under way on the edge of the site, will cut it off from the countryside fringe and the wildlife population will suffer.

Cain’s award-winning work, which has featured in The Journal in the past, is featured on Monday along with his new film on BBC One’s Inside Out programme.

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