My name is Jack Perks and I’m a professional wildlife & underwater cameraman. For the past 10 years or so I’ve been working across the British Isles' many rivers, lakes and ponds to uncover its hidden wildlife.
This journey has lead me to photograph every species of freshwater fish (53!) as well as working with the other cast of characters that call rivers home, like water voles, dippers and dragonflies.
I’ve worked on and off with The Rivers Trust for many years and the work they do to improve river restoration, remove barriers to migration and add buffer zones along the riverbanks are all things I support, and wish more rivers would have. So when invited to be an ambassador, I was happy to accept.
As well as my love for wildlife I’m also a keen angler; fishing since I was 11 whether its fly, coarse or sea. For me, angling is a way to recharge those mental batteries and enjoy the outdoors. Although it may seem weird for someone who’s job it is to film the outdoors, its still a job! So it is nice to leave the responsibility at the door, and just take it all in when fishing.
It's that connectivity that I enjoyed so much when I first started fishing; being able to see a fish I'd never seen before up close. The stripes on the flank of a perch or the silver glim of a roach was intoxicating for a budding naturalist. I still feel giddy now when I catch a gudgeon or see a pike in the deeper water. Anglers are often known as the custodians of the waterways and we do spend a awful amount of time watching the water - often we can be the first ones to notice when something is wrong.
Increasingly I see anglers and conservationists slightly mistrustful of each other, when the reality is we have way more in common then not. Working together is the only solution to solve the wider problems rivers face. Rivers are in a perilous state currently and in need of some real drastic changes if we are see to a positive change.
Fish are so often forgotten and ignored in the greater landscape
of natural history so its something I’m working with the rivers trust to
showcase what is lurking beneath our waters.