Dave Hollis

Location: Wirral, Merseyside
About me...

Do you like wildlife? Do you enjoy watching wildlife films and documentaries on TV? If the answer to either of those questions is YES! Then read on…

My name is David Christopher Hollis, I’m a freelance wildlife photographer, filmmaker, author and highly skilled public speaker with over 35 years of experience under my belt. I now live on the Wirral, on Merseyside.

I originally hail from Halesowen in the Black Country and I introduce what I do as ‘a Black Country Lad Explores’ because that is just exactly what I do. . . I explore. . . I enjoy and I photograph and record what I see and hear.

If you’re looking for an entertaining and informative talk then I am definitely your man.

My fee is (May 2021) £55.00 Plus travel expenses (POA).

I am sometimes available at short notice so if you have a cancelled speaker try me and I may be able to accommodate you. I am able to talk on any wildlife subject you care to mention or suggest and engage my audience on a whirlwind tour of the subject at hand. I am very flexible given the nature of audiences and organisations. I can talk both formally at dinners and informally to groups such as yours alike.

I have taken the liberty of putting together a small range of possible talk titles, but I can, and have, spoken on the widest range of wildlife subjects imaginable and so am not daunted by any suggestions you may have for talk titles. Most of the talks last from 45 minutes to an hour. One of two last over an hour, these are indicated in the talk text. I hope to hear from you very soon.

About my talks...

My talks are a mix of fun, fact and hopefully lots of enjoyment. I know my subject extremely well, and just love talking to folks about it. My presentations are shot through with humour, and i hope, lots of things which might make you say, “well, i never knew that” !

Look forward to talking to you soon.


My fees are £55.00 plus travel (POA), please contact me to discuss.

My Contact Details:

07876 276629

A Tale of Cappers and the Rain Goose - the Natural History of the Scottish Highlands.

This talk has a special place in my heart as I just love exploring the Scottish Highlands. It’s a spectacular landscape which is just dripping with special and very rare wildlife to excite every wildlife watcher. Come along and see the elusive Wild Cat, Red Squirrels and marvel at the Red Deer rut. Special plants and insects add to this wonderful, wild tableaux making this talk a great introduction to anyone wishing to explore this beautiful part of Scotland. Not to be missed.

Wild Tales from Myrtle Corner.

The Wirral peninsular is a fabulous place for wildlife. One of its beauties is that in national terms it’s not very big but packs a huge ‘wildlife bang for its buck’! Come along and see the huge wader flocks for which this part of the world is justly famous, along with a wealth of other birds, mammals, plants and all vying for our attention.
For inhabitants of ‘Myrtle Corner’ this is really not to be missed.

Talk 24. British Mammals

Our crowded island is home to some astonishing mammals. Woods are home to foxes, badgers and deer, while our meadows play host to Rabbits, Hares and a multitude of voles and mice. We are endowed with a fabulous diversity of mammals and this talk explores many of our native species a and a few interlopers too just to spice things up a little. Come with the Black Country lad as he explores the length and breadth of our island home in search of fascinating, unusual and elusive wild creatures a and throws a spotlight on how they fit in to the wild world which is modern day Britain. This beautifully illustrated talk is not to be missed.

Talk 25. Our Rare and Unusual Wildflowers

One of my first loves, and favourite subjects for my photographic work has always been the mouth watering array of beautiful wildflowers found in Britain. Now for the first time I will throw some light on a range of the rarest and most special species of flowers to be found the length and breadth of Britain, from endemic chickweeds on the windswept Shetland Islands right down to the exotic plants which flourish on the Lizard Peninsular in Cornwall, it has something for everyone. Whether you are an avid plant twitcher or simply have a love of flowers this talk really is just for you. A beautifully illustrated presentation and not to be missed.

 Talk 26. A Tale of Papillion's and Bob Owlers.

Intrigued by the odd title? Well you should be. This is an exploration of all things butterfly-y and mothy. We have over 50 species of butterfly in Britain and several thousands of their largely nocturnal cousins the moths.  Come with the Black Country Lad to find out more about our Lepidoptera and be amazed at the beautiful diversity of both sides of the family. I guarantee you will be astounded by this wonderful group of delicate creatures. Many have fabulous names like the Peacock, the Grayling and Beaded Chestnut and so, so many more besides. This fully illustrated talk is suitable for anyone with even a passing interest in this huge and colourful family of insects.

Talk 1. Wildlife of the Picos de Europa

Come and join the Black Country Lad as he explores this incredible region of Northern Spain. It simply drips with wildlife gems and would take a full lifetime to explore properly. See Bears, Wolves and a wealth of wildflowers, birds and fabulous butterflies. This is not to be missed.

Talk 2. Garden Wildlife

Closer to home I explore all of the wildlife to be found in our suburban gardens, from Foxes to Bluetits, Butterflies to Smooth Newts. They are all there in this highly informative talk covers the whole range of the plants and animals to be found in our gardens and how to protect and encourage the wildlife which visits from time to time.

Talk 3. A Year in the Woods

Talk 3. A Year in the Woods. A fabulous winter to winter look at a broad-leaved wood in lowland Britain. This talk is packed full of badgers, red squirrels, deer, stunning rare wild orchids and delicate butterflies together with amazing Autumn colour and fabulous fungi which all add to the rich tapestry of wildwood.

Talk 4. A tale of Dragons and Damsels

The Black Country Lad explores the wealth of our dragon and damselflies in this watery excursion. A wild and murderous ride below the water’s surface followed by the elegance and wild beauty of adult dragons as they hunt and patrol a beat alongside our rivers and ponds. This talk also looks at the other inhabitants of the dragonflies world and explores how they all interact with each other to create the most amazing of wildlife habitats.

Talk 5. The Cevennes

Come with the Black Country Lad to the South of France to the Cevennes Region. A fantastic area for wildlife, it has spectacular fish filled, deep river gorges and table like Causses, flat agricultural areas which just teem with butterflies and wildflowers. Around every corner there are new and exciting wildlife delights and the Black Country Lad explores them all, from birds to bats, from fish to frogs and all wildlife points in between. This is not to be missed.

Talk 6. The Birds of Norfolk

This is an area of the UK which I know well and love. It’s packed with birds all year round and I explore the richness of Norfolk’s birdlife throughout the seasons. Winter has immense clouds of geese and fabulous wader flocks wheeling over bleak estuaries with a wonderful beauty all their own; while summer has wild reedbeds throbbing with the raucous songs of Sedge Warbler and spectacular Marsh Harriers drifting over wetlands alive with ducks and other water birds. All are there in this richly illustrated talk. Come and discover Wild Norfolk with the Black Country Lad.

Talk 8. Wildlife of Shetlands Simmer Dim

This beautiful and informative presentation takes the audience on a tour around the islands of the Shetland group in the far north of Scotland. Indeed the Shetland Islands are closer to Norway than Scotland and this is reflected in the wildlife and culture of these beautiful islands. Home to Gannets, Divers and the infamous Bonxie, Shetland drips with fabulous wildlife just waiting to be discovered. The landscape is stunning, bleak and wonderful, but alive with birdsong and swaying beds of cotton grass, it has a stark beauty all its own. Come with me to revel in this fabulous place where the sun never sets all summer long.

Talk 9. Aliens Amongst Us

Join me on a journey, a journey to see things you may never have seen before. This fully illustrated presentation looks closely, and I do mean closely at the world of weird wildlife. It’s packed full of huge eyes, insect sex and graphic details of insects eating each other! Oh and it’s got fungi in it too. So a good old fashioned health warning is in order. If you’re of a squeamish disposition or are easily unsettled then give this talk a WIDE berth, but if you’re curious and want to be entertained royally with humour and amazing facts then this is the talk for you. Go on try it, you know you want to.

Talk 10. The Twelve Beasts of Christmas. *Christmas talk and/or Quiz*

A new and fun take on the popular Christmas carol, but featuring an eclectic mix of animals to tell the story. This light hearted talk is full of bats, Bonxies, birds and smelly horns to name just a few. And you get to sing as well! How cool is that. It’s a must for all your Christmas get togethers and can be combined with a great Christmas wildlife quiz too all put together by the Black Country Lad. All in all a fun package for any ‘do’.

Talk 11. Beneath

A new fully illustrated talk exploring the wonderful hidden world of creatures ‘Beneath’. Beneath the bark, Beneath the leaf litter and Beneath the waves in this fascinating peak into the world of false scorpions, woodlice, springtails, slow-worms and periwinkles. It’s a shortish talk (around 30-45 minutes) and can easily be dove-tailed with any of my other presentations.

Talk 12. Birds of Prey

Exciting, enigmatic, brutal but never dull, birds of prey have fascinated man for thousands of years. Consummate, top of the food chain predators, falcons, eagles, vultures, hawks and a whole host of other members of the birds of prey clan are here in this informative exploration of all things ‘raptory’. As with many of my fully illustrated talks this one has a sting in the tail too, an unusual take on the very notion of birds of prey which will, I hope, broaden your vision of the concept of just what is a bird of prey. Not to be missed.

Talk 13. Our Wonderful Wetlands

Join the Black Country Lad on this fully illustrated wild tour of our British wetlands, a unique and fragile habitat which is becoming scarcer by the year. Since the 50s we have lost well over 90% of our field corner ponds, critical habitats for a wide range of insects and amphibian species. Come with me and explore all that our wetlands have to offer, it’s insects, flowers, fish, birds and mammal species are all described here in some detail together with a look at the different types of wetland habitats that there are in Britain too. As usual this talk is delivered in an accessible, light hearted but highly informative way.

Talk 14. The Camargue

Join the Black Country Lad for a tour of this most iconic wildlife site on the French Mediterranean coast. Marvel at thousands of Flamingos and gaze with wonder at Coypu, Egrets, Herons, Cuckoos, countless Tree Frogs, huge numbers of Bats after dark and a wealth of special wildflowers and a myriad of insects too. The area is one of the richest places for wildlife in Europe and each year tens of thousands of birds visit and stay to breed in this fabulous wetland landscape. The Camargue is justly one of the most famous wetland areas in the whole of Europe and worthy of any visit, whether it’s a virtual one as here or in reality. This talk is richly illustrated with images from my own vast image library.

Talk 15. The Farne Islands.

Situated off the Northumberland coast, out into the chilly North Sea lie the Farne Islands. home to countless seabirds and hundreds of Atlantic Grey Seals.Join me for a half movie; half illustrated talk excursion to these amazing islands. See Puffins, Razorbills, Fulmars, Shags, Arctic and Sandwich Terns and get a glimpse of the extremely rare Roseate Tern in this wonderfully evocative image, sound and video presentation. A rare and unusual experience and not to be missed.

Talk 16. Our Wild, Wild Meadowlands.

Do you remember the halcyon days of wandering up hill and down Dale, enjoying the view and then lying back staring at the cloudless sky while an natural orchestra of grasshoppers and crickets serenaded you, in a rich, green meadowland of old? If the answer is yes, then why not come with me to relive those happy days when meadows overflowed with wild flowers and ‘buzzed’ and ‘fluttered’ with countless bees and gorgeous butterflies of many species. This lavishly illustrated talk will whisk you back to those childhood days when summers were hot and meadows were at their richest in wildlife terms. Not to be missed.

Talk 17. The Life in Your Pond.

Do you know what goes on behind the ‘watery closed doors’ of your garden pond? No? well now is the time to find out. Your pond is a dynamic wild ecosystem every bit as exciting and dangerous as the Serengeti plains of Africa. It’s home to dragons and damsels and voracious water beetles to name just a few of the many players in this natural tableaux of life and death in the garden. Temper these hunting beasts with a smattering of gentle and benign newts and other amphibians and you have the opening setting for a majestic, many act play full of natural wonders. This lavishly illustrated talk will guide you through all the dramas, the ups and downs of this watery soap opera and hopefully draw back the veil of this richest of wildlife habitats….your pond.

Talk 18. My Life as a Wildlife Photographer.

I have been passionate about wildlife since I was in the womb! I worked as a Countryside Ranger for the thick end of twenty five years and, over the last thirty years or so I have also been an enthusiastic wildlife photographer and filmmaker with an image library now (2016) of some one million photographs…..and counting! Come with me as I show you the highlights of my ‘wild’ photographic career and share with you some of the highs and lows of my life as a wildlife photographer and documentary filmmaker. This illustrated talk is full of colour and wild adventures shot through with lots of reflective and thought provoking images too. Not to be missed.

Talk 19. The Glorious Natural History of Britain's Wild Coastline.

With over 11,000 miles of coast around mainland Britain alone it’s easy imagine that our island has some of the most wildlife rich coastal habitats in Europe. With sandy beaches, rocky coves, towering sea cliffs, saltmarshes and estuaries the possibilities for great wildlife hotspots is endless. Come with me to explore the whole range of wildlife which lives at the very edges of Britain. Delve into rock-pools, explore sand dunes and marshlands rich in flowers and insects and marvel at hoards of wheeling waders and seabirds in this lavishly illustrated excursion into the wilderness that is our special coastline.

Talk 20. The New Forest, a Wildlife Wonderland.

Lying squarely across Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire the New Forest has long held and attraction for me as a naturalist and photographer. The National Park (est. 2005) covers over 219 sq. miles of breath-taking heathlands, broad-leaved  and conifer woods and numerous rivers, mires and marshes besides. This variety of habitats is home to a mouth-watering array of wildlife from rare snakes and lizards right up to plants and insects found nowhere else in Britain. This highly illustrated talk will take you on a wild roller coaster of a journey across the many animals and plants which make the Forest their home. Be prepared for a sensory overload of rare and beautiful plants, exotic dragonflies and an autumn landscape which will make you weep at its beauty.

Talk 21. Garden Birds.

One of the great pleasures of having a garden of any size or description are the birds which visit it from time to time. This fully illustrated talk looks at the variety of our avian visitors, with some surprising garden birds being revealed in the mix. The talk will also try to help gardeners understand how to best attract the widest range of species to come and share our outdoor spaces. So if you like Blue-tits, Chaffinches, Blackbirds and maybe even….Red Kites too! this is THE talk for you.

Talk 22. Britain's Fabulous Birds

Come with the Black Country lad on an amazing journey through the many bird species which make a home here in Britain. From incredible residents to those who visit us just for a short while, Britain is packed with a mouth watering array of birds. Each season thousands of birds ebb and flow in an out of our island making it the ideal place to encounter some real avian gems. Autumn brings huge thrush flocks in from Scandinavia and Winter swans from Siberia and Iceland, while Spring heralds the arrival of migrants which grace our shores with their songs and beauty. Explore the Highlands of Scotland right down to Lands End on a whirlwind tour of Choughs, Peregrines, Egrets, swirling wader flocks, delicate garden birds and so, so much more.

Talk 23. Britain's Wild Orchids

There are about 80 species, (including numerous subspecies), of orchids which flower in Britain. I have spent many happy years tracking down our wild orchids as I’ve been fascinated by their delicate and extraordinary shapes and form all of my life as a naturalist and wildlife photographer and filmmaker. I can still remember 30 years ago being shown the colony of Military Orchids discovered by one of my botanical idols JE Lousely, in the 1940’s whilst he was on a family picnic, and my first glimpse of an elusive and enigmatic Ghost Orchid too, a tear or two shed there and no mistake. But this talk isn’t just about rarity, although It’s liberally sprinkled with them, it’s about a celebration of all things orchid. From folk lore to anecdote this talk has them all.


Do you like crosswords, puzzles and trivial pursuit? Well forget all those and lets go wild with these visual , fun and easy to score points in….and let’s face it we all like to score points…wildlife quizzes. I can set up a quiz with a theme given to me by you or I can simply devise a new and cunning conundrum for your group or club. Ideal for Christmas parties, spring parties, summer parties in fact all sorts of parties and occasions. Little of no previous wildlife knowledge is really required as my quizzes are all about the everyday wildlife you see in your gardens, out in the park or perhaps scaling Everest! This is one fun evening.

Dave Hollis Contact Details:

07876 276629

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