Ashley’s wildlife sketches have become increasingly sought-after, to the extent that he now takes to the field with the sole intention of producing work for sale.
The process, however, has barely changed since he first went out with his pencil and pad as a young boy growing up in rural Northamptonshire.

“One becomes so absorbed in the business of observation that the pencil almost works on its own,” he says. “And to browse through the battered pages of a sketchbook can transport me back to a windswept East Anglian marsh, busy with teal and piping waders, or watching stonechats on my own favourite fell while the first cuckoo of the season calls from a stone wall, or even to a thornveld in southern Africa, hot, dusty and echoing with the calls of blacksmith plovers and francolins.”

Such has been the interest in his informal work in recent years, Ashley will now often take his field sketches back to the studio to reworking
them in a more finished manner.