Geoffrey Weymouth (wildlife photographer)


On Thursday 21st October 1999, Dr Tom Greeves, Chairman of The Dartmoor
Society, presented a specially commissioned plate, made by potter Penny Simpson
to Geoffrey Weymouth, in recognition of his unrivalled photographic record of
Dartmoor wildlife.

The presentation took place at Penny Simpson’s premises at The Studio, 44a
Court Street, Moretonhampstead. Geoffrey Weymouth is a retired Dartmoor farmer, who has lived at Ponsworthy, near Widecombe-in-the-Moor, from the 1950s. Since the 1970s he has been photographing the wildlife of Dartmoor, especially the birds of moorland and woodland. Thousands of meticulously documented slides form the basis of talks which he has been giving to groups all over Devon since 1975.

Dr Tom Greeves said, The Dartmoor Society is absolutely delighted to make this award. Geoffrey Weymouth is no ordinary photographer – many of his images require special hides to be built either in trees or on the ground, with hours and sometimes weeks of preparation before a nest can be approached without risk of disturbance. His work has two distinctive hallmarks – that of superb technical quality combined with a devotion to the creatures and the places in which he
observes them.

To have achieved all this while working as a Dartmoor hill farmer is remarkable enough. But to have also given up countless evenings to share his knowledge of, and pleasure in, the natural world around us by giving talks to scores of groups, makes him more than worthy to receive an award. His is a shining example of genuine sensitivity to one’s local enviromnent, and this is what we want to recognise.’

The potter who has made the plate is Penny Simpson who has been resident on Dartmoor for 15 years. Trained at Dartington Pottery 1979-81, she is the author of The Japanese Pottery Handbook(Kodansha, 1979) and has had recent exhibitions of her work at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, at the New York Gift Fair, and in Germany. The calligrapher was artist Susanne Haines. The Dartmoor Society welcomes the opportunity to use once more the artistic and craft skills of local people for the creation of the beautiful presentation plate