Welcome to the website dedicated to the life and work of Eric Ennion, a remarkable all-round naturalist who was one of the twentieth century’s most talented and original wildlife artists.

"... a man of great humanity, intelligence, energy and fun."

Robert Gillmor

"... a much loved figure... his illustrations and paintings introduced a new spirit into the portrayal of birds, and expressed most clearly his vision of nature."

John Busby

Eric Ennion

Eric Ennion c.1975

bird mans river book

Bird Man's River by Eric Ennion was published by Benton Street Books in November 2011. Written in the late 1930's, it is a lyrical account of birds and wild places. It chronicles Eric's pre-war birdwatching adventures: in Burwell Fen in Cambridgeshire, in Breckland, on the Broads and the Norfolk and Suffolk coast, in Scotland and Wales, and in Holland in 1930 and Iceland in 1936.

In addition to the illustrations which Eric Ennion prepared specially for Bird Man's River, this large format book (300 x 240 mm) reproduces a selection of his superb exhibition watercolours from the period.

Copies are available to purchase direct from Benton Street Books or may be ordered through bookshops.

160 pages, 80 colour illustrations, 8 line drawings.           ISBN 978-0-9570465-0-4   £35

Two more Eric Ennion books are planned. If you own any Eric Ennion watercolours or drawings and would be prepared to allow them to be reproduced in one of these books, please contact the editor Bob Walthew - details are on the contact page.

Most of Eric Ennion’s work is held in private collections. It is only through the goodwill of owners in allowing their pictures to be reproduced that such books can be published. The help of everyone who has already made contact is greatly appreciated.

The website is edited by Bob Walthew and was created in association with the Wildlife Art Gallery at Lavenham in Suffolk. The aim is to build a comprehensive online resource. Comments about the site, corrections, and suggestions as to what additional material might be included are most welcome.

The Wildlife Art Gallery was founded by Andrew Haslen and Graham Barker in 1988 and, after a brief period online only, closed in 2023. The gallery published two books of Eric Ennion’s work: A Life of Birds which reproduces all the pictures Eric Ennion painted for Shell in the 1960’s, and One Man’s Birds which focusses on Eric Ennion’s life and work in the 1930’s. There is more information about both books in Bibliography 2, and both are available to purchase from Benton Street Books.

We are grateful to the owners of paintings, photographs and other material for their cooperation in making images available for display on the website, and to Eric Ennion’s family for their encouragement and support for the project. Thanks also to Chris Lodge of chrislodgeart.com for invaluable technical help.

The pied wagtail, great tits and ringed plover were painted for Shell in 1964; click on the small images to see larger versions and additional artwork. The courting red-necked phalaropes on the header date from the 1930’s. The quotations at the top of the page are taken from Robert Gillmor's appreciation of Eric Ennion in British Birds in October 1982 and John Busby's introduction to The Living Birds of Eric Ennion (Gollancz, 1982). The photograph of Eric Ennion was taken by Bob Walthew at Weyhill in the mid 1970's.

pied wagtail great tit ringed plover

Website updated January 2024

Images © The Estate of E A R Ennion