Drone Enthusiast

A Salford drone enthusiast has become a social media hit after posting panoramic views of Manchester’s ever changing skyline.
Nathan Fearne, 32, from Walkden, recently set up his own channel on video sharing website, YouTube, to post birds-eye footage of the city taken from the 360-degree camera on board the remotely operated aircraft.
He’s one of a growing number of people that have taken advantage of the technology in recent years to take aerial photos and video.
Nathan said: “I just wanted to show Manchester and its surroundings from another wider angle, I’m completely fascinated with the technology.
“I believe with these improved ways of taking photographs and videos are arising, and I believe that we are better for it, too.
“That’s not to say the old ways are bad or that they don’t have a place because they do.
“But drones give you an angle that you would only otherwise get from a helicopter – so money is the key to their popularity.”
Over 450 people have subscribed to his channel.
Despite growing concerns the city is being gentrified and losing its historical feel, Nathan says he has no problem with the transformation taking place of the city.
He added: “I’m in the building trade, so I’m happy with the changes to Manchester’s Skyline.
“I want it to continue until we look like somewhere like Seattle or Atlanta. I know it will boost our international image, which means more jobs and prosperity and that is great for everyone here.”

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The Tragic ‘Crisis’ Of Kenya’s Rhino Cemetery

[Originally published in LADbible]

The Rhino Memorial in Laikipia, Kenya serves as a harsh reminder of the devastating effects of wildlife poaching. Situated inside the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the graveyard now has 16 tombstones, each in memory of a poached rhino.

A lucrative black market means that the illegal trade is rife in Africa, and it has negative consequences not just to animals, but to local communities and the environment as well.

The desperate need to draw attention to endangered rhinos by creating a recognised place of burial becomes even more understandable when you learn that the conservancy homes the last three northern white rhinos in the world. And the 113 black rhinos residing there are a species now considered ‘critically endangered’. It’s a tragic situation.

“Poaching is caused by human greed and has escalated in recent years,” spokeswoman for Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Elodie Sampere, tells LADbible.

Credit: Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Credit: Ol Pejeta Conservancy

“It’s mainly being driven by the demand for rhino horn in Asian countries. But if we stop the demand, we stop the poaching. It’s really as simple as that.”

On the tombstones, rhinos have their own epitaphs, detailing how they were slain. It’s by reading them that you can learn that one of the buried, a 20-month pregnant rhino named Ishrini, suffered agonising pain as she killed by poachers. She was slayed by poisonous arrows and then had her horns cut off, presumably for profit.

“We feel it’s very important for people to understand how rhinos are dying. We think that by writing how they died, it will add a bit of ‘shock value’, and will help people understand that we are in a crisis when it comes to rhinos,” says Sampere.

Today, the chilling setting is a warning of the impact of poaching, but it was initially founded because of a rhino called Morani, who was one of the first black rhinos to be brought to the conservancy.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta Conservancy

“For 19 years, Morani was a fantastic draw for Ol Pejeta visitors,” Sampere tells us. “His good nature and willingness allowed them to get a hands-on experience and an insight into the day-to-day life of a black rhino. During visits, the young and old were educated about the plight of black rhinos in Africa, and what must be done to ensure their survival.”

When Morani died of old age, he became an ambassador for the non-profit conservancy, and so was buried with his own tombstone. This brought about the rhino memorial, which has been ongoing for 10 years.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta Conservancy

However, not all of the deceased rhinos are able to be brought to the area of burial, as the place where they died was too far to drag their heavy bodies. Even still, a tombstone is formed in their honour and planted at the graveyard in order to remember them and in the hope of bringing more awareness to the issue.

“Creating awareness is the most important thing we can do,” Sampere says. “Populations that ‘consume’ rhino horn need to be educated. Governments need to be made aware of the crisis and put laws in place to stop the poaching.”

If you wish to help the Ol Pejeta rhino programme, you can donate here. http://www.olpejetaconservancy.org/support-us/

McLeod: We’ll Learn From our Luton Mistakes

Attacker Mekhi McLeod, who signed a one year deal with Stanley in June last summer, believes that the team have the mental capacity to learn from their mistakes against Luton Town, and push on in League Two against Coventry City, with the hope that they will achieve a top three automatic-promotion place by the end of the season.

“Yeah, I think the loss we had is a bit disappointing, but we just had a bad day at the office and we will try and change that and get to the top.”

Back in August, McLeod showed what he is truly capable of when came on as a substitute in Stanley’s League Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion, earning Man of the Match for his sublime cameo showing.

Many users of the WBA fan forums, too, were full of praise for the tricky winger, calling him the star of the show, in match that featured Premier League players like Jay Rodriguez and Solomon Rondon.

“My game is to be effective and to be attacking. Creating chances is my job. I think the fans can see that. I just want to do well. Individually, I think that’s the same for all the boys; we are now looking at more than just the top half of the table.

The Wolves academy player says that there is a belief around the squad at the moment, and that the coaching staff are providing the team all the encouragement they need to earn that automatic promotion place.

“We have got John Coleman and all the staff around us who are trying to create something good and getting us working so hard. And auto promotion – that’s always in our mind – and that’s is drilled into us and now has become our mind-set.

“At the start of the season, with our ambition, I think a lot of people would have been shocked to think [promotion] that was our aim, but because it has been drilled into us for this season, we are now doing it. So, we have just got to continue that.”

The 21-year-old former Rangers player believes that, if you want to succeed in League Two, it is down to a collective effort of the squad rather than individuals playing for themselves.

“That’s our mentality – even if we are down, we’ll come back up. So our aim is to go out there and give it a go. It’s been a good start for some people, but I think personally that, as a team, we can expect more.”

Reds Fade to Resilient Town

[Originally published in the Accrington Observer]

Stanley’s quest for automatic promotion from League Two took another stumble after a 2-0 loss to an assured Luton Town side on Saturday at the Wham Stadium.

The result means Stanley have now dropped out of the automatic promotion place into sixth place and, too, have ended their impressive record of scoring in every single game this season.

Luton’s James Collins opened the scoring with a drill inside the box – despite BBC and Sky Sports humorously reporting that the goal was scored from 40 yards out – and this was then followed by a penalty converted by Danny Hylton to give Luton the lead.

The match was not without controversy. Referee Martin Coy seemingly missed a fight between Dan Potts and Mark Hughes inside the box, which saw Hughes on the floor clutching his face.

It is always going to be a raw encounter between the two teams with one eye on promotion.

After ten minutes, Alan Sheehan slide in to clear a shot away Sean McConville’s shot after Donacien’s brilliant dribble.

Stanley were, in their usual fashion, charging forward, but never really penetrating and leaving themselves open at the back to their opposition – who have not lost a league encounter since August.

Moments later, McConville sprung out wide, whipped in a cross but it was too low, meaning Billy Kee had to dive across to a get a head on the ball, which eventually flung over the bar.

Just after 20 minutes of play, James Collins opened the scoring, his 7th of the season, stabbing the ball home after latching on to Lees’ header.

In the box waiting for a corner from the opposition, Hughes went down holding his face. It looked like Potts grabbed him by the throat and pushed him down. The referee, crowded by appealing players, spoke to his fourth official, before eventually giving Potts the benefit of the doubt, branding him a yellow card – the players’ fifth of the season.

After the match, a collected Coleman said, “I don’t want to see anybody send off, I don’t think anybody knew what had happened. I think it those situations people are either expecting a red or yellow. You don’t want to win games by players being sent off. We have had plenty missed this year and it has cost us big time, but I don’t referees at this level should be guessing.”

Stanley looked rumbled, and on the back foot as the Hatters pressed on for a second. Just before halftime, Donacien, who had been outstanding for his side so far, tripped over Sheehan inside the area, giving Coy no option than to point to the spot.

This infuriated the Reds fans behind the Dyer stand, who were almost lunging over the barrier to confront the referee.

Luton’s number nine Hylton buried the penalty into the bottom right, doubling Luton’s lead, just before the break.

In the second period, Scott Brown looked to be brought down inside the area but it was waved away, leaving John Coleman to shake his head in disbelief.

In the closing stages, substitute Mekhi McLeod used his electric pace to cut through the Luton defence and forge his way deep into the box. He went down after a nudge from behind, but the referee played on, and Luton got their three points against an underwhelming Stanley.

Coleman said after the game: “It would seem like they [Luton] were just trying to see the game out – but they didn’t, they were forced back by pressure.

“We had a longer spell than what they had but we did not score. It’s disappointing and unusual for us: the fact that we lost the game, but we also didn’t score a goal.

“But we have to dust ourselves down. We have a week now to work hard on the training ground. We got to be able to negate teams that play the way Luton played today.”

 

 

[Originally published in the Accrington Observer]

Mekhi McLeod, who signed a one year deal with Stanley in June last summer, believes that the team have the mental capacity to learn from their mistakes against Luton and push on in League Two against Coventry City, in the hope that they will achieve a top three automatic-promotion place by the end of the season.

“Yeah, I think the loss we had is a bit disappointing, but we just had a bad day at the office and we will try and change that and get to the top.”

Back in August, McLeod showed what he is truly capable of when came on as a substitute in Stanley’s League Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion, earning Man of the Match for his sublime cameo showing.

Many users of the WBA fan forums, too, were full of praise for the tricky winger, calling him the star of the show, in match that featured Premier League players like Jay Rodriguez and Solomon Rondon.

“My game is to be effective and to be attacking. Creating chances is my job. I think the fans can see that. I just want to do well. Individually, I think that’s the same for all the boys; we are now looking at more than just the top half of the table.

The Wolves academy player says that there is a belief around the squad at the moment, and that the coaching staff are providing the team all the encouragement they need to earn that automatic promotion place.

“We have got John Coleman and all the staff around us who are trying to create something good and getting us working so hard. And auto promotion – that’s always in our mind – and that’s is drilled into us and now has become our mind-set.

“At the start of the season, with our ambition, I think a lot of people would have been shocked to think [promotion] that was our aim, but because it has been drilled into us for this season, we are now doing it. So, we have just got to continue that.”

The 21-year-old former Rangers player believes that, if you want to succeed in League Two, it is down to a collective effort of the squad rather than individuals playing for themselves.

“That’s our mentality – even if we are down, we’ll come back up. So our aim is to go out there and give it a go. It’s been a good start for some people, but I think personally that, as a team, we can expect more.”

Accrington Stanley 1-1 Cheltenham Town

Accrington Stanley v Cheltenham Town.

 

Accrington remain in the top four of the League Two table despite drawing 1-1 with Cheltenham Town on Saturday, in a result which sees the Reds drop points against lower table opposition.

No sooner had Mohamed Eisa opened the scoring from close range for the Robins just before halftime than Kayden Jackson levelled with assured finish.

But, despite the draw, John Coleman put it down to just one of those games: “For whatever reason, we just didn’t look as if we believed we could win the game. We were very upbeat in the first half, making chances, but I think sometimes you just have to take a step back and congratulate the opposition.”

Stanley looked to have instructions to kill the game off early, as, inside three minutes, Aaron Chapman whacked a long ball over the top to Jackson, who mistimed a trap and the ball rolled off his shins and into goalkeeper Scott Finder’s grasp.

The attacker, though, pushed on still. Inside six minutes, he found himself out on the right. He took a swipe at the ball but Stanley player of the month Billy Kee was unable to connect at the far end.

Kee, who was being hounded throughout the half by the opposition despite no fouls given from referee Andy Haines, rose the highest, inside nine minutes, and knocked the ball to Jackson, but again Flinders snubbed an opening goal for Stanley.

Then, Kee played the ball Sean McConville out wide. The midfielder turned outside and delivered a neat cross, to which Kee got on the end of, but his glancing header went over the top, inside 22 minutes.

On the half hour mark, just after the battered Kee had a penalty claim waved away, a cross from Jordan Clark somehow went through Kee’s feet, leaving Flinders scrabbling on the ground. On the rebound, the ball found its way to Liam Nolan, who cracked a shot against the crossbar before it hit Flinders’ back. Travelling towards the goal line, it was booted clear by the defence.

Inside 36 minutes, confusion in the box led to Mohamed Eisa nipping the ball over the on-coming Chapman, to give the visitors a surprise lead.

Manager Coleman, as ever, stood calm, not even becoming frustrated when the Cheltenham side used their moment to celebrate to receive orders from their manager Gary Johnson.

It was like Coleman knew what was next, as, one minute later, forward Jackson finally got his goal, his sixth of the season, with confident finish inside the box.

Just before half-time, Cheltenham earned another free-kick and this prompted the normally reserved Coleman turn to the home support and loudly complain about the seemingly one-sided decisions from referee Haines. It was met with a round of applause from the Stanley support.

Just after the break, the breathless Jackson went down under a heavy challenge and soon after he was replaced by Mallik Wilks. The Leeds United loanee made a clever interchange on the edge of the box with Kee, but it ended with a dragged shot wide.

Tyler Forbes, inside 61 minutes, struck an outside the foot curler which went over the bar and bounced on the sparse concentrate away stand.

But, mostly, it seemed that Stanley’s energy had departed with the injured Jackson, meaning the two sides were fighting for the ball in the middle of the park.

Cheltenham substitute Jerell Sellars caught the Stanley midfield napping and stormed through the middle. Mark Hughes, though, was there to deflect the ball over the bar, to give each side a point a piece.

Coleman later reflected: “The last ten minutes we were probably lucky to get away with a draw. I think on the balance of the game, a draw was a fair result. It must have been a smashing advert for football in the first half, it was end to end. They carved out three good chances and probably took the hardest one.”

 

Sean Shines for the Reds

[Originally published in the Accrington Observer]

Sean McConville produced two superb goals following Billy Kee’s opener, as Accrington Stanley moved up to second place in the League Two table in a 3-0 victory over Carlisle United on Saturday.

Maintaining their record of scoring more than one goal in every league game this season, the Reds stole the show, with Billy Kee’s confident finish from close range and two moments of magic by man of the match McConville, who scored with a sublime free-kick and a brilliant individual effort.

An elated John Coleman said after the game: “Today was a big test for us. Carlisle are a fantastic side; in this division, they would be everyone’s favourites to be top seven. They have recruited well over the last couple of years, as they have got the finance and support to do it. So we knew it would be a tough game, but we know that if we play to our strengths, we can hurt teams.”

The torrential rain before kick-off and during play favoured Stanley’s direct style of play and that shone through. In the opening moments, Jordan Clark nipped the ball through to Kayden Jackson, but the forward’s resulting cross went safely into the goalkeeper Jack Bonham’s arms.

But the first real chance of the match went to the visitors. Richie Bennett went past both Mark Hughes and Dawson, inside 7 minutes, before opting to cross, but no one was there to meet the ball, and it trickled across goal, with midfielder Nicky Adams coming in too late to get a show away.

Clark then attempted speculative effort from distance; taking the ball down, and shuffling to his left, he blazed the ball high over the bar, inside nine minutes.

Then, McConville sparked into life, inside 13 minutes and unleashed a devastating curling shot from 35 yards, which clipped the top of the bar, in front of the away supporters, who watched with their hearts in their mouths.

Eventually, Stanley did get their goal: Mark Hughes’ header from the halfway line somehow found its way to Kee, who could not believe his luck. With just the keeper to beat, he tucked the ball in the bottom right to give Stanley the advantage.

Jackson looked through, inside 41 mins, but a heavy challenge took him clean out but referee. David Webb decided only to produce a yellow.

But Stanley got the balance back, as the resulting free kick, just to the left outside the box,  was brilliantly whipped over the wall and buried into the far right side by McConville,

After the break, inside 51 minutes, Kee made use of a gap in the Carlisle backline to thread a ball through to Jackson. Clear on goal, Jackson took a touch too heavy and keeper Bonham was able to slide the ball away with his feet.

McConville intercepted the ball, misplaced pass from 8, he drove through, Jackson and Kee options either side, but he decided to drive through the middle, inside the box and delightfully curl the ball into the top corner.

Coleman said after the game, “You ask all the players; they love playing with Sean, because they know how vital he is to the team. He has experience, a willingness to work for the team and a football brain.

United looked for their goal, but this allowed Jackson to drift through, inside 73 minutes, and fed in substitute Mallik Wilks, but the Leeds United loanee drove a low shot just wide of the mark.

Just before the 80 minutes mark, McConville had another direct. Despite hitting it cleanly and on target but it was always swerving central, with Bonham tipping over the bar with ease.

Nearing injury time, that man McConville cropped up again. Driving through the Carlisle midfield, he took another punt, but fortune did not favour this time, as he blasted high into the stands.