Photo competition winners

Wednesday 25th July 2018

Brown hare (c) Gill SmithBrown hare (c) Gill Smith

Twelve local photographers are celebrating after being chosen as winners for a popular county calendar.

Angel's fingers by Lesley BettsThe annual photography competition run by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust aims to highlight the beauty of the county’s wildlife and wild places. Winning images this year range from snowy tree tops and shafts of sunlight in a woodland glade to starlings sitting on an old boot and a brown hare in a summer meadow.

Wendy Carter, organiser of the competition for the Trust, explained “Worcestershire is home to some very talented photographers and with more than 220 entries from 44 photographers, judging was tough.

“The twelve winning entries are great images and we’re really proud to have another great calendar that will help to raise funds for our conservation work right across the county.”

Winners receive a copy of the calendar with the overall winner also receiving a print of their image kindly donated by London Camera Exchange in Worcester.

Brown hare scoops top prize

Winner Gill Smith receiving prizes from Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and London Camera ExchangeMore than 200 people took part in a public vote promoted through the Trust’s website and social media channels to choose the overall winner. The winning image, which will feature on the front cover of the calendar, was of a brown hare taken by Gill Smith of Rochford, near Tenbury Wells.

Gill commented “I was amazed to receive a phone call saying that my photos had been selected for the 2019 calendar, stunned to be told that one image had been selected to go head to head for the front cover & then thrilled to find my hare picture had won!

“I am a keen photographer and spend many hours walking the countryside in all weathers with my camera. This has introduced me to the wildlife that shares these spaces, from skylarks above us, hares in the fields & dunnocks in the garden - it’s all there for the seeing.

“Thank you to everyone who voted! Please buy the calendar and each month you will be rewarded with an image of Worcestershire to remind you to go out & enjoy this beautiful county.”

Watching wildlife

Grey heron by Tracey BlackwellThe winning images appear as full A4 pages in the conservation charity’s 2019 calendar with a further 13 runner’s-up having their images appear as smaller insets.

Staff at the Trust are helped in their judging by Jason Curtis of Wyre Wildlife and Pete Walkden of Pete Walkden Photography, both local wildlife photographers and previous winners of the competition.

Wendy continued “We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who entered…and made judging so difficult!

“All Trust staff get to vote on a long-list of entries before our external judges, Pete Walkden and Jason Curtis, help us to make the final decisions.

Starlings by Bas Yates

“Whilst many of the photos are taken by people who are out and about around our beautiful county, lots of entries are of wildlife in people’s gardens, demonstrating just how important our own spaces are for wildlife.

“Research is showing that being close to green spaces – whether your garden, local area or nature reserve – is really important for our wellbeing. Watching the drama of wildlife unfold before your eyes can be really exciting – especially if you’ve got a camera on hand to capture the action.

“Hopefully our calendar and the competition give people an extra excuse to help wildlife at home as well as explore wild places in their local area.”

Calendar on sale

Red fox (c) Dave HullThe annual competition runs from November to April and is open to photographers taking images of wildlife and wildlife-friendly places across Worcestershire.

The calendar is available to buy from the Trust’s offices or online shop now costing £7.00 each. All proceeds directly benefit the Trust’s work to protect Worcestershire’s wildlife and wild places.

Photographers can stay in touch with the Trust online through their active Flickr group, Facebook page and Twitter account.

Winners

Photographs featured in the calendar can be viewed in the charity’s Flickr photostream.

Snowy tree tops (c) Jonathan BrusbyJanuary – Snowy tree tops, Malvern Link by Jonathan Brusby, Malvern
“It was a pristine dawn after the first heavy snow. Scrabbling up a steep wooded bank in 2ft drifts on a whim, I was greeted with this beautiful natural grotto; the canopy glistening white in the low sun. It always pays to look up.”

February – Fieldfare, Bromsgrove by John Caswell, Bromsgrove
"I had put some apples out for my local blackbird when a solitary fieldfare came down to feed and then posed for me; lucky!”

March – Swan at Spetchley Gardens by Paul Manning, Malvern
“I took this photograph while visiting Spetchley Park with my wife on our wedding anniversary. I didn’t spot it at the time but there is a well-disguised coot walking in front of the nest.”

Swan on nest (c) Paul Manning

April – Heron nest, Offenham by Colin Allen, Offenham
“I got lucky! A lady in the pub asked what I photographed. I mentioned wildlife, so she invited me to hers where there were several heron nests at the end of the garden. I’ve never had it so easy...”

May – Broad-bodied chaser, Upton Warren by Martin Clay, Worcester
“Right place, right time but not necessarily the right lens. I had been out photographing birds in flight and as I was heading home this beauty presented itself; not so much a macro shot, more zoomed in from a distance.”

Jun – Brown hare, Rochford by Gill Smith, Rochford
“This hare was preoccupied feeding & didn't notice my approach; with the low light picking out the spider webs on the wheat and the midges in the air, taking this photo was a privilege and a joy.”

Crab spider (c) Anne RothinJul – Crab spider and prey, Caunsall by Anne Rothin, Caunsall
“I had just bought a macro lens and was looking to try it out when I spotted the spider in the garden. It was so unusual that I approached it carefully and spent quite some time observing and photographing it.”

Aug – Red fox, Trench Wood by Dave Hull, Droitwich
"Walking through the wood one evening I noticed some movement and a fox suddenly appeared. I lay down and the fox came out of the undergrowth and sat looking directly at me allowing me to take a number of photographs."

Sep – Angel’s fingers, Shrawley by Leslie Betts, Stourport-on-Severn
“Whilst caravanning in Shrawley, I awoke at dawn. Donning jacket and wellies and grabbing my camera I headed towards the river and witnessed this ethereal combination of mist, rising sun and cobwebs, truly magical; seconds later it was gone.”

Snowy avenue (c) Peter ForsterOct – Starlings, Inkberrow by Bas Yates, Inkberrow
“I thought the old boot would look good with a bird on it so I put some live meal worms near and robins were eating them. It was annoying when the starlings arrived and ate them all. Then they stood on the boot and made a picture.”

Nov – Grey heron, Croome by Tracey Blackwell, Worcester
“During one chilly morning walking along the river bank at Croome, I spotted a solitary heron stalking its prey. I gradually crept into position and as I did, some ducks swam through the mist into the picture just as I was taking my shot.”

Dec – North Hill snowy avenue, Malvern by Peter Forster, Malvern
“I took this during the heavy snowfall of 10th December 2017. Having fallen into several snowdrifts it was a great relief to find myself on this path back into Great Malvern with a camera that still worked.”   

Tagged with: Calendar 2019, Photo competition