A keen amateur photographer from Andover is hoping to raise money for sufferers of a rare disease after having a collection of his pictures published.

Brian Cartwright is hoping to raise money for The Leprosy Mission with his book of nature pictures, many of which were taken in and around Andover, especially at Anton Lakes. He said that he enjoys taking pictures of nature, and regularly visits the lake.

“It’s just connecting me with nature and it’s just lovely,” he said. “If you ever have a wild bird land on your hand you’ll know how it feels, it sets your heart a-flutter”.

Brian is a former sailor, and after leaving the Royal Navy in 1987 he moved to Andover, where he’s lived ever since. Since moving, he joined Andover Baptist Church, where he first learnt about The Leprosy Mission.

“There was a lady supporting the mission, and when she got a bit elderly she wanted someone else to take it over,” he said. “So I took it over and got interested in leprosy and have been collecting for it since.”

Leprosy is a bacterial infection that causes damage to the nerves. It can result in the loss of ability to sweat, muscle paralysis and skin lesions. While cases are often limited to certain areas of the world, with 94 per cent of 2015 cases in just 14 countries, such as India and Senegal, cases occur globally, including in the UK.

“Most people think it is an Indian or African disease, and it’s far away,” said Brian, “but in fact leprosy is on Brownsea Island, the squirrels have it.

“It’s a terrible disease but it can be cured, it just happens to be in poorer areas of the world and they [The Leprosy Mission] need money to send people out there to help and eradicate the disease.”

One of the charity’s fundraising strategies is through the sale of books, for which Brian has submitted many pictures over the years.

He mainly takes pictures of animals and nature, rather than views, and is especially keen on birds and animals. He lives near Anton Lakes, where his regular presence means the wildlife has got used to him.

“When I walk around the lake, I take a bag of seed with me in my pocket and now robins land on my hand to feed. It’s just connecting me with nature and it’s just lovely. If you ever have a wild bird land on your hand you’ll know how it feels, it sets your heart a-flutter.”

This year, all the pictures in the same book were taken just by Brian.

“I feel quite proud really,” he said. “I could have printed one off my own back but for a charity to say they’d use all my own pictures is very good!”

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The book is also being stocked by local Andover bookshops, including The Vine Trust Bookshop on Bridge Street. Here, they’ve put together a special display for Brian’s book.

If you’d like to buy a copy of Brian’s Book, A Little Book of Bible Promises, it can be found in The Vine Trust Bookshop or online: https://www.eden.co.uk/christian-books/gift-books/a-little-book-of-bible-promises/