Penny Metal

Springwatch: Who is Penny Metal?

Get to know the insect enthusiast and photographer here

Eve Crosbie

Nature fans and TV viewers alike have been enjoying the return of wildlife show Springwatch on BBC One.

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Wednesday's episode will see insect enthusiast Penny Metal joins the series to introduce viewers to the tiny residents of a London park. Want to know more about her? Keep reading…

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WATCH: Chris Packham delights fans on the nature show

Penny Metal is an insect photographer from Peckham, South London. In 2017, she made a splash in the nature world with the publication of her first book InsectInside: Life in the bushes of a small Peckham park. The book, which features incredible original photography, is a comprehensive catalogue of all the insects that can be found in Peckham's Warwick Gardens.

However, before turning her attention to all things insects, it seems that Penny led quite an eventful life! According to LinkedIn, since 1999 she has been working as a DJ, specialising in Eastern European and Russian music. She also has previously been self-employed as a graphic designer, working under the business name Metalanguage Design. 

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She first began photographing insects ten years ago and has been building up her ongoing survey of the invertebrates of the small urban park ever since. She now shares weekly updates on her website insectinside.me.

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Chatting to Chris Packham back in 2018, Penny explained how the project came about. She said: "Well, I decided to go round to my local park, which is quite an insignificant park in Peckham, and photograph everything that moved in the sense of insects. I thought I'd find about 50 species and I carried on and on and over six years, I found over 555 species.

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"I thought it was really important to feature every insect, to show its importance. So even though the flies might all look the same they all have different names."

She added: "My mission was to get people into insects through photography and funny little stories."

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