Photographer and picture researcher Ben Andrew joined our Communications Manager, James and Direct Marketing Officer, Emma, last month to check out the Back from the Brink Field Cricket project and take part in 'cricket tickling' (a technique used by license holders).
We thought we'd ask Emma and Ben how it went and get their unique view on the species and the technique! (see Emma's blog here).
Ben is a passionate photographer, committed to taking stunning photos of wildlife. He's helped us out a lot here at Back from the Brink by donating his shots so that we can showcase our range of species. We can't get enough of the guy!

Here's his take on Field Crickets and cricket tickling:

“I arrived on site not having a clue what it would be like photographing Field Cricket - they aren’t a species I’ve ever clapped eyes on before, let alone seen through the barrel of my lens so I was a touch excited and nervous I wouldn’t get the shots!
However, under the guidance of the excellent Rowan Edwards, myself and fellow photographer Alex Hyde - we were led to an excellent spot full of burrows and it was then just a matter of being patient for the crickets to emerge.
After a few minutes it became clear this might be easier than I first thought, the terrible spring weather had meant the crickets had had little chance to actively bask so far this year but a huge dollop of luck meant that the translocation day was planned for a glorious spring day. The 14 degrees temperature and sunny weather meant nearly every burrow had a cricket sitting at its entrance soaking up as much sun as it could!

Seeing my first cricket was a huge thrill, they are amazing creatures, jet black and alien-like. I got down at ground level and got a crickets-eye view into their world. Using my macro lens I waited for them to sit neatly at the edge of their burrows and, shooting along the ground, got the shots I had in mind as they peered out into the big wide world.

A memorable day, a fantastic species and a great conservation story!”


Ben Andrew

Picture Researcher, RSPB.


Would you like to help this incredible species? There are numerous ways in which you can:

  • Why not volunteer for Back from the Brink? Check out our events page for opportunities near you.
  • Help us to spread the word of this species, and the others we will be helping over the next 3 years, by sharing our message across our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Follow us: @naturebftb.
  • Finally - help support the work we do across England by donating. Our impact will be greater with your help.