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Bissoe Valley Nature Reserve

As part of my 2nd year course at Falmouth University, we have been set an assignment to write a magazine article on a local habitat called Bissoe.

Bissoe was once home to arsenic works from the early 19th century. Mining began there around 1812 with its main market being the Lancashire cotton industry which used arsenic and dyes in its pigments and dyes. The mine closed in 1991 however evidence of the mine is still clear today, 25 years later, such as the chimney and other similar remains.

Located just 8 miles north of Falmouth and less than 4 miles from Truro, it is an easily accessible site.

At the end of September we ventured down to the valley to begin our photography. Armed with a Nikon D810, Nikon 105mm f2.8 macro lens and a Nikon AF 14-24mm lens I was pretty prepared for the day- not to say nervous as well at the thought of carrying around such kit all day. The 14-24mm lens alone costs over £1000!

In the brief we were given for the project we were asked to capture 2 landscape shots and 4 macro shots. The day we visited was a bit of a ‘dodgy’ weather day so I focused on the macro shots for that day with the plan to return over the next few days to get some landscape shots.

Shooting in Raw as usual I saw far more life than I expected. Common Darters, Ivy Mining Bees, Field Grasshoppers and a tiny toad to name just a few, not to mention all the plant life I saw. It was a really enjoyable day and having David Chapman there to help spot species and identify them was helpful too. It opened my eyes up a lot to how much we miss when going on a walk. If he hadn’t been there I probably wouldn’t have seen half the things I did.

Designing the magazine on InDesign is pretty challenging and time consuming. Having barely used InDesign its been a learning process but through playing about with it I think it’s going pretty well!

The writing is also a challenge. 2000 words isn’t a great deal and is pretty simple to do however trying to fit it in with images and the overall magazine design is hard!

Here are some of the images from the trip that day. I did also return a few days later to capture some landscapes.


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I will update the blog with the finished article when it is done!

A x

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