The BIRDscapes Gallery is an independent family-run business. We opened the doors on October 1st 2005, after about a year of designing and creating a gallery-space out of what had been a light-industrial workshop. Our converted barn is part of a group of buildings supporting a thriving combination of attractions and businesses, notably the binocular specialist CleySpy and Art Café immediately adjacent to BIRDscapes. The gallery is one of the largest in the area and has two spacious rooms, one dedicated to original prints, the other to paintings, with sculptures throughout. We have ramped access and double doors to the main gallery and both spaces have chairs to facilitate a relaxed visit and people are, of course, very welcome to browse.
We work with over 60 painters, printmakers and sculptors, and in the main, we show the work of bird artists,rather than that of general artists who occasionally paint birds. The vast majority of those we work with spend a great deal of time in the field, observing, sketching, painting and photographing. This engagement with the natural world gives their work special qualities of liveliness and authenticity, often apparent in their sketch books. The Society of Wildlife Artists, the senior wildlife art society in the UK founded in 1964, places similar emphasis on observation and as a result we work with over twenty of its members, including Robert Gillmor who, with Eric Ennion, inspired the Society’s formation.
We support conservation and have raised funds for conservation in Iraq, spoon-billed sandpipers, land purchases by The Norfolk Wildlife Trust and The World Land Trust, and a BIRDscapes sponsored ‘Conservation Through Art’ prize at the S WL A Annual exhibition. We also have green aspirations, and among other things we re-use most of our packaging, and even some from our neighbours! The bubble-wrap we buy is made from recycled materials and is degradable. We have a variable, low-energy lighting system and of course compost our teabags!
The beautiful Bayfield Estate where we are based, is a tract of rolling and wooded North Norfolk countryside. Its owners are welcoming to visitors and as a consequence we have been able to produce a leaflet that guides visitors on a three-mile circular walk, waymarked by CleySpy, introducing them to the birdlife of the estate. The Bayfield Bird Walk leaflet is available at local tourist information centres and may be collected from BIRDscapes.