Shropshire Star

A year of stunning Shropshire landscapes

A father and son duo have documented Shropshire across the seasons in a book set to be published next week.

Frosty autumn sunrise at Clun, Shropshire. Pic John Hayward

Mike and John Hayward, who hail from Shifnal, have collaborated to showcase the county they love in over 160 stunning images in a glossy hardback coffee-table book.

Mike is a former newspaper journalist who has combined a lifelong passion for motorsport with landscape photography, while John's background is in media production and video, though his still photography has been used by national and international picture agencies.

New the two have joined forces, together with wife and mum Lynne, to produce the book, A Year In Shropshire, which will be officially published on September 5, with a launch party this Thursday at the Beacon Rooms at Ludlow Castle.

Joanne Potter of publishers Merlin Unwin Books said: "This book is the work of a talented Shropshire family, professional photographers – father and son team – Mike and John Hayward, and wife and mother Lynne, a journalist, who wrote the photo captions.

"To capture the familiar sights and landscapes of Shropshire in a new way was part of the challenge of A Year In Shropshire and to that end John has certainly gone the extra mile, using his youthful strength to get to the most unusual viewpoints, often climbing miles in the dark at 4am carrying 12kg of camera equipment on his back in order to capture the sun rising or the mist lifting; or being prepared to wade across streams or cross bog land to photograph the dusk descending on other rarely photographed angles on land or town-scapes.

"Mike's many years of experience as a newspaper photographer were to the fore as he has captured on camera the essence of many of the social events and people of Shropshire.

"Lynne has patiently co-ordinated all this, written the words and made the essential picnics for those dawn and night-time patient vigils which go behind creating these stunning pictures."

Pictures include such scenes as Clun Castle and Bridgnorth’s High Rock surrounded by autumn colours, the houses of all shapes and sizes tumbling down the hill in Bishop's Castle, the Shrewsbury skyline as seen from the Quarry Park and spectacular colour in the Dingle, Ironbridge under a dusting of snow, wild ponies on the Long Mynd, the ancient holly grove on the Stiperstones, frozen canal boats at Ellesmere and Ludlow in the grip of a hoar frost.

Joanne said: "Moving throughout the year, from spring to winter, and covering every corner of Shropshire from tiny hamlets to our proud towns and monuments, this collection is a breathtaking tribute to this diverse, unspoilt and often overlooked part of England."