|Derby Cathedral - now wired for sound . . .and video.|
Six years ago I was blogging about fitting webcameras onto Derby Cathedral, and sharing my fears about whether it would be possible or not. Just look at these posts from our first month of running a blog to see where we were starting from.
Boy, that seems such a long time ago now.
Back then I was happily employed at Derby Museums, racing against time to obtain cameras to add to our one year old nest ledge, installed in 2006. Now I'm happily employed elsewhere, albeit part-time, but that means I am still lucky enough to be able to remain involved with Derby's amazing peregrines. Over those years they have given me such satisfaction, mainly because I've known how much pleasure they are capable of giving to everyone else. And, of course, I've had the massive help and support of Tony Grantham, then head verger who 'opened all the cathedral doors' to enable the project to get the cathedral's approval and support and of Nick Brown, who was the first person to see the potential of the project and who invited me to get involved in the first place. Nick was then working full time for Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (DWT). Now he continues to put in hundreds of voluntary hours of work each year helping to run the project in all manner of vital ways.
|Fllashback to 2008: Mock-up of a new camera |
location on Derby'cathedral tower
Being a bit of a nerd, I spent part of my Christmas break investigating the best new cameras to add to our peregrine nest ledge, and am about to make our first purchase - a replacement for "pudding cam" as it still affectionately known. I shall be using funds donated anonymously to our project to buy the camera next week from a supplier in Derby (always good to be supporting local businesses), and hope to test it out at home to get the day and night focus settings just right, before installing it on top of the Cathedral Tower in place of the old one. And it has been your donations over the years that have helped pay Network Webcams to stream our pictures to your computer or mobile phone.
Our project has grown so much over those years - thanks to the partnership that runs it and especially to your interest and enthusiasm in watching the fastest creature on this planet care for and raise young on Derby's ancient stone cathedral tower. Most recently we've added a live stream with audio.
And, excitingly, a new chapter is about to unfold.
Soon, thanks to support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, we shall be welcoming Ian Layton, our new Peregrines and People Engagement Officer, who starts with us on January 14th. He'll be helping us reach out to local communities and other groups around Derby and Derbyshire, and supporting schools to see the potential for using Derby's amazing peregrines as a learning opportunity. We'll be working to improve our public reach and to share the lives of these incredible raptors with many new audiences.
Whilst we are now starting to reach out via Twitter and Facebook, this blog will undoubtedly remain the core way we share what's happening up there on the gritstone tower of Derby Cathedral. Ian will no doubt want to introduce himself to everyone on this blog, and will be keen to listen to your ideas, suggestions, or offers of support.
A Happy New Year to everyone, and lets hope 2013 will be another successful breeding season for Derby's amazing peregrines.
Update: Tower cam is now offline for a while. The camera has been removed and a new mounting unit is being prepared for a replacement.