24 June 2012
© Peter Eeles
Citation: Eeles, P. (2012). A Review of: The Video Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Ireland [Online]. Available from http://www.dispar.org/reference.php?id=39 [Accessed February 21, 2018].

A Review of: The Video Guide to the Butterflies of Britain and Ireland

Review by Peter Eeles

From the Publisher

This new double-DVD set from BirdGuides has been painstakingly filmed during the past three years using the most up-to-date digital cameras to present close-up footage of all of the butterflies found in Britain and Ireland. Running for over three hours, this broadcast-quality production offer comprehensive accounts of all 59 species with superb moving film and covering identification, distribution, habitat, behaviour and all life-stages. The video is narrated by TV presenter Nick Baker. Engaging and illuminating interviews have been filmed with knowledgable butterfliers from all over the country, including Jeremy Thomas, Richard Lewington, Martin Warren and many other individuals involved with Butterfly Conservation.

The DVD allows instant navigation to any species and features:

A donation of £1 will be made to Butterfly Conservation for every copy purchased.

A Review by Peter Eeles, 24th June 2012

The first thing I should mention in this "review" is that it is not entirely independent; some of my stills are included in the DVD and I'm also one of the interviewees. But perhaps this is a good place to start since I consider the inclusion of the interviews to really set this DVD set apart from similar productions - and it's just wonderful hearing insights from the experts coupled with obvious enthusiasm. The set of interviewees comprises many familiar names that I greatly admire (and I'm very humbled to be among them):

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Andy CulshawBridget NichollsCaroline Bulman
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David HowdonDavid LindoFiona Barclay
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Jeremy ThomasMartin WarrenMaurice Hughes
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Mike TomsNeil HulmeNick Baker
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birdguides2_Patrick BarkhamPete EelesRichard Fox
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Richard LewingtonSam EllisTom Brereton

Each of the 59 species found in the British Isles is discussed - along with a selection of day-flying moths and rare migrants. I must admit, when I discussed the project with the BirdGuides team a couple of years ago, I was slightly concerned that a systematic trawl through all 59 species would come across as fairly dry and uninteresting - but I've been proved wrong for sure. I think Nick Baker's voiceover coupled with the interviews, video footage, stills and illustrations all come together quite superbly in a work that is clearly of broadcast quality. It's the sort of output I'd expect from the BBC - it really is that good. I was particularly pleased to see such comprehensive consideration of immature stages, something that I'm particularly interested in.

The production itself is up to BirdGuides' usual standards and I suppose the greatest compliment I can pay the BirdGuides team is that, had they not sent me a copy of the DVD, I would most certainly have purchased it! BirdGuides has raised the bar, once again.

How to Order

The double-DVD set (or two-disc Blu-Ray set) can be ordered from the BirdGuides website.

A donation of £1 will be made to Butterfly Conservation for every copy purchased.