THE ART of ‘watching narrowly’ is being celebrated in an exhibition of nature photographs being staged at Gilbert White’s House in Selborne until June 12.

Gilbert White practised watching narrowly throughout his life, firmly believing that by watching and noticing the natural world’s detail he could gain a better understanding of the natural world as a whole – something that can be seen clearly in his book The Natural History of Selborne.

Covid forced people to spend more time exploring locally, and many walkers noticed more of the great outdoors as the seasons changed and appreciated the importance of the natural world.

In the 2021 lockdown Gilbert White’s House and Gardens set up a seasonal photography competition in which entrants could send in nature photographs on the theme of ‘watching narrowly’. The winners were chosen by the museum’s chair of trustees, Professor Khalid Aziz, to star in a new temporary exhibition at the museum.

The exhibition features 12 winning images and takes the viewer on a journey through the seasons, from the emergence of spring with delicate butterflies and ducklings, through to busy bees and gulls in summer, and to the amazing colour of autumn and the icy depths of winter.

Museum collections manager Kimberley James said: “The exhibition really shows the diversity of nature. All the photographs are so different and so striking. Walking down the corridor is really like walking through a year of nature and seeing close up the lives of insects, birds, mammals, flowers and forests.”