Mystery Peak District photographer made tourism ambassador

A Foolow man dubbed ‘the Banksy of photography’ is now an official Peak District ambassador after his shots were seen around the world.

Known only as Villager Jim, his incredible photos have earned a huge online audience and the admiration of tourist board Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire.

Famous for his wildlife action shots, idyllic country lane scenes, breathtaking landscapes and laid-back Labrador shots, Jim’s lens will now be focused on boosting the area’s tourism reputation.

He said: “I feel honoured to play an even more active part in letting as many people as possible know about this beautiful area where we are so privileged to live and work.

“I feel like I’ve been an inadvertent ambassador already, I love what the tourist board are doing and it’s wonderful to be thinking of ways to help.”

His photography was a hobby and became a sideline in greetings cards, but Villager Jim’s daily diary can now reach up to a million people a week on social media - ten times the reach of official tourism accounts.

He said: “The growth in social media, especially Facebook, provides an awesome platform. So many people see the photos there, share them, and leave comments about wanting to visit the area.”

The partners are hatching plans for new projects, but Jim already has an archive of 250,000 photos ready to use.

He is also leading photographic tours of the region, and is about to launch a dog photography studio.

For more details and photos, see www.villagerjim.com.

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