NHS worker wins Countryfile competition with elusive boar photo

NHS worker wins Countryfile competition with elusive boar photo


An NHS worker whose photos of an elusive boar won a place in the BBC Countryfile calendar, says being in nature is her “stress reliever”.

Carol Gadd works from her home in the Cotswolds and says she took up photography as an antidote to her busy life.

Her image Boar To Be Wild, of a boar with her piglets in the Forest of Dean, will feature in the 2024 calendar.

She said being in nature and “capturing special moments” is “important” to her.

Black-winged Demoiselles on a leaf

Ms Gadd spends her early mornings before work photographing wildlife

“It’s a real stress reliever but it’s much more than that,” she said.

“It’s completely taken over and being out in nature is really important to me.

A dark brown weasel with a white chest stands on a low tree bough covered in snow looking out past the camera

Ms Gadd has photographed hundreds of animals and insects

“When you take a photograph of wildlife that’s something you can study after the event.

“You can look an animal directly in the eye and see their details. I love watching their behaviours.”

A profile of a heron caught just before its beak snaps up a fish that seems like it is suspended in air between its mouth

Ms Gadd spent several years trying to photograph the wild boar as she photographed animals and birds

She has spent many years recording and watching wildlife in nature and has become extremely passionate about her hobby.

She said she took her winning photograph in March, after searching the Forest of Dean for the secretive and elusive boar that live there for “several years”.

A dark brown wet and shiny water otter looks directly into the camera as it peers up from water

Ms Gadd said she is extremely passionate about being in nature

“It was an amazing experience to find them, but you have to be careful around them,” she said.

“It was a mix of trepidation and excitement. We found two females protecting two litters.

A bright yellow eyed fox looks directly into the camera sat in a field

Ms Gadd also uses her favourite photos she has taken every year to make her own wildlife calender

“[In the photo] It looks like she’s smiling but she wasn’t happy and made steps towards us. We lowered the cameras and backed off,” she added.

Ms Gadd said she was watching the Countryfile show on TV as the presenters announced the competition and “almost fell off her chair” when they said she had won.

A Tawny Owl looking out from a hollow in a tree trunk

Ms Gadd said she was not expecting to be chosen as a winner

“I really wasn’t expecting to get anywhere,” she added.

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