Adventures in the Wild

When John Beatty first offered to visit Kibworth to give a talk to help raise funds for Kibworth Community Library very few of us knew what to expect.

A renowned nature, travel and adventure photographer, John brought with him some extraordinary images from his thirty-plus years globe-trotting. But it was the stories that went with them that captured the imagination.

John left teaching geography and PE to join the British Antarctic Survey in 1981. Since then, he has travelled to over 36 countries, often guiding others to places of wonder.

When the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted in Iceland in 2010, John was one of the only professional photographers on site. This was thanks to a friend calling him up and telling him he needed to get there quickly. His photos made it onto the front pages of newspapers around the world. One photo that didn’t make it though was of him standing over a lava-filled crevice. Noticing that the surface seemed to be crumbling beside him, he realised that he was standing on the thin roof of a lava cavern. Some exceedingly careful side-stepping got him out of danger.

Stunning Wildlife

John is definitely not risk averse. Whilst in the Arctic Circle he was told that there were walruses on a beach below a cliff. A very unusual sighting for the area. His photo of a hundred walruses was achieved by him hanging over the edge of the cliff being held only by his jacket.

Adventures in the Wild

Fascinating Cultures

John’s time in Mongolia seemed to have resonated with him the most. His interaction with local cultures was fascinating. He found a serenity amongst the Kazakh Eagle Hunters, people who live close to the land. He was honoured by their leader who brought a golden eagle for him to see in action. John played us a piece of music, the throat singing practiced by the Tuvan and Mongolian people. An incredibly haunting sound.

The evening was so much more than just a talk, It was a celebration of the world we live in. The two hours just flew by. John has promised to return with more of his stories. We are looking forward to hearing him once again, hopefully very soon.

Julie Harrison

For more on John’s exciting travels & stunning pcitures visit

More on the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, eagle hunters and throat singing, visit: