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Ashley Cooper

Global Warming Professional Photographer

Born Sheffield, UK 1962. After gaining an Honours Degree in Geography from Aberystwyth University Ashley spent three months travelling through East Africa. There he saw at first hand the work being undertaken by the British Leprosy Relief Association.

1986  Returned to the UK and spent six months planning a fundraising expedition to raise funds for LEPRA. In 1986, Ashley set out to climb the 313, 3000 foot peaks in GB and Eire. 111 days later after over 1000 miles of walking and 500,000 feet of ascent, he became the first person ever to achieve this feat. The expedition took place in the coldest and wettest summer on record in the UK with rain and or snow on 91 of the 111 days. The event raised £14,000 for LEPRA.

1986  Was taken on as the customer services officer for Europa sport, the outdoor equipment wholesalers who had sponsored all his equipment for the expedition. In 1987 Ashley returned to Malawi to spend a month in the field with LEPRA officers, meeting leprosy sufferers who were being treated with the money that he had raised.

1988 Was taken on by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), as their Community fundraising Manager for Cumbria. A job he held proudly for twenty years. When Ashley first started with NSPCC, Cumbria had one Child Protection Team, based in Carlisle. In the next 20 years, he launched a number of special appeals, in order to open an additional three Child Protection Teams. In total, through managing and motivating a network of volunteers in Cumbria, who collectively raised over £4million.

2010  Left NSPCC to pursue his full time career as a professional photographer. In 1994 Ashley travelled to Alaska to do his first dedicated climate change photo shoot. What he saw was a complete shock to me and vowed him to spend the rest of his time, documenting the impacts of climate change around the planet. In 2015 Ashley realised his ambition to document the impacts of climate change and renewable energy on every continent on the planet, the only living photographer to have done so. This epic journey was entirely self funded through image sales into newspapers and magazines and cost around £300,000 whilst amassing the world’s single largest collection of climate change/ renewable energy imagery. (can be viewed at www.globalwarmingimages.net).

In 2016 Ashley crowd funded £45,000 to enable himself to publish, “Images From a Warming Planet”, an art photographic book depicting the best 500 images from his climate change project. The book goes through the causes of climate change, all its impacts and finishes with the solutions, mainly around renewable energy.

Jonathon Porritt wrote the foreword for the book and called it “An extraordinary collection of images and a powerful call to action”. The book has received very favourable reviews from Sir Tim Smit, Chris Bonington, Mark Lynas, Mark Edwards, Emma Thompson, Bill McKibbon etc. Currently the Pope has a copy of the book, as does Al Gore and Prince Charles.

The book has been featured in The Guardian as well as on BBC North West News and ITV border News and been awarded with the Gold Award for Media and Communication in the annual Green Apple Awards for sustainability.

In 2010 Ashley won the climate change category of the Environmental Photographer of the Year Competition to then lead the judgement of the competition in 2018.

For the last 25 years he has been a member of the Langdale/Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, the busiest mountain rescue team in the UK, with spells as both Team Secretary and Team Chairman.