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Photographer appeals for funds to publish book of stunning Hampstead Heath images

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:30 22 February 2016

Matthew Maran has taken these stunning images of Hampstead Heath

Matthew Maran has taken these stunning images of Hampstead Heath

Archant

For four years, award-winning photographer Matthew Maran waded through chilly pond waters and waited for hours in hides to get the perfect shots of Hampstead’s Heath rarest inhabitants.

The landscape and wildlife snapper’s stunning images of kingfishers, kestrals, historic oaks, and great crested grebes, to name a few, is soon to be collated in a photographic coffee table book – but now he needs the community’s help to publish it.

The 38-year-old launched an online campaign last Wednesday to ask Heath lovers to donate what they can towards the production of Hampstead Heath: London’s Countryside.

“Yes, there’s pigeons and squirrels, but there are so many rare birds too, and that’s what makes Hampstead Heath a magical, magical place,” said Mr Maran, who grew up in Western Road, East Finchley, and now lives in Tottenham.

“With the book, I wanted to celebrate that. Everybody knows it’s beautiful, but I really wanted to encapsulate that beauty.”

Matthew Maran has taken these stunning images of Hampstead HeathMatthew Maran has taken these stunning images of Hampstead Heath

The hardcover book is to contain 120 photographs, and Mr Maran has designed and laid out the book himself.

But now he needs £24,000 just to cover the cost of printing.

So far, nearly 100 people have donated more than £12,000 in just over one week.

Depending on how much they give, those who pledge will receive “rewards” ranging from a pack of six greeting cards featuring some of the images for £9, to a private photo tour of Hampstead Heath for £750, all the way up to a signed limited edition fine-art mounted and framed print and signed copy of 
the book for £2,395 or more.

Wildlife photographer Matthew Maran has been capturing birds, including great crested grebes, at Hampstead Heath's ponds. Picture: Matthew MaranWildlife photographer Matthew Maran has been capturing birds, including great crested grebes, at Hampstead Heath's ponds. Picture: Matthew Maran

Mr Mara, who has self-published one book before called Vancouver Island, Barkley to Clayoquot, said: “It would be nice for someone to come up to me and say, here’s £20,000, but crowdfunding really engages with the community.”

He added that funding the book in this way means he can control what it looks like and how it is produced.

After years of flying around the world for his work, including to east Africa and the rainforests of South America, Mr Maran chose the Heath as inspiration for his second book to draw attention to the diversity of its wildlife, even in the heart of the UK’s capital city.

The book will begin with an introduction from the City of London Corporation, which runs the Heath and granted Mr Maran permission for his project, and a foreword from Rising Damp sitcom star, Frances de la Tour.

To help Mr Maran produce his book, visit his Kickstarter page here, or email him at info@matthewmaran.com.

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