As part of our celebration of Britain, we’re featuring some of the wonderfully talented people that make it so special. Martyn Ferry is a photographer who has a rich passion for, the much overlooked, British countryside. Martyn is very proud to call the Cotswolds his home and his love of the countryside sees him exploring the region with his camera through the seasons. We recently shared a pot of tea with Martyn to find out more and showcase his great images.
“But beyond the chocolate box facades, there is a real sense of history and belonging to the landscape”
How did you first come to enjoy the outdoors and the British countryside?
Funnily enough it was while travelling through Australia and New Zealand that I developed a passion for landscape photography, so when I returned to the UK I was keen to start exploring the country with my camera, and several years later decided that my photography was at a high enough level to begin selling my prints and taking commissions.
When did you start photographing the Cotswolds?
I started around 6 years ago, when I moved to Burford, one of the quintessential Cotswold towns, and began getting to know the surrounding landscape throughout the seasons.
What is it about the Cotswolds that inspires your work?
There are a couple of reasons I think the Cotswolds are such an inspirational place to photograph, one is of course the quaint little villages with their honey coloured stones and weathered slate roofs that the area is so famous for. But beyond the chocolate box facades, there is a real sense of history and belonging to the landscape that these places convey, I’m thinking particularly of the myriad of stunning villages that aren’t on the tourist trail, of which there are a countless number, and well worth a visit.
Also, there is the landscape, obviously shaped by human use over the centuries, but with a sense of bucolic ease about it, that all but extends a hand and beckons to be explored. The terrain might not be dramatic or filled with natural wonders but with a bit of time and patience there are plenty of fabulous vistas to be found among its rolling countryside.
What is your favourite area in the Cotswolds?
There are many areas I enjoy visiting for different reasons and at different times of year, but probably my favourite area is around the villages of Snowshill, Stanton and Stanway in the north east of the Cotswolds. There is something about the landscape contained here that is extremely peaceful and rewards time spent among it.
At what point of the year/season do you love the most in the Cotswolds?
All the seasons have something to offer, with summer probably being the least of them, but I think spring is my favourite time of the year. With the trees sprouting fresh, green leaves, hawthorn bushes covered in white blossom as they line the fields in bright alabaster knots, and the sunny rape fields beginning to reach their full bloom on the rolling hills.
Favourite place for a light refreshment in the Cotswolds?
Luckily for me, just up the road in Stow-on-the-Wold is the excellent New England Coffee House that serves some of the best coffee I’ve found in the Cotswolds, plus a range of specialty teas.
The nearby market town of Witney is home to a range of cafes, but I always make sure I visit Coffeesmith if I’m in town to do a bit of shopping, it has great coffee and some rather good cakes.
For more of Martyn’s work visit www.martynferryphotography.com or follow @photograferry on Twitter and Instagram.