Competition winners announced

Competition winners announced

Great crested grebe and chicks by Pete Cheshire

From otters to orchids and birds to butterflies, twelve photographers from across Worcestershire are celebrating after being chosen as winners for a popular county wildlife calendar.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust’s annual photography competition to find images for their fundraising calendar aims to highlight the wonder of the county’s wildlife and wild places. Photographers are invited to enter images taken around the county, from gardens to nature reserves.

Wendy Carter, organiser of the competition for the Trust, explained “We’re really lucky to be living in a fantastic county with some fabulous species of wildlife and some very talented photographers.

“There were almost 200 images entered by more than 40 photographers; judging was hard! The upshot is a great calendar full of wonderful images that will look great on walls and the sales of which will help our conservation work right across Worcestershire.”

Winning images will appear as A4 pages in the Trust’s 2020 calendar with a further 24 runner’s-up images also featured as smaller inserts.

The overall winner of the calendar, whose photograph features on the front cover of the calendar, is Pete Cheshire of Great Witley.

Pete’s great crested grebe carrying its youngsters on its back was taken at English Heritage’s Witley Court last summer. It beat Robin Couchman’s orchids photo in a public vote run across the Trust’s social media channels.

There is so much wildlife in our wonderful county and, as frequently highlighted by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, often in places we least expect.
Pete Cheshire
Overall winner

Pete commented "This photograph says as much about Witley Court and Worcestershire in general as it does about the photographer! 

“I take thousands of photographs each year, mostly of wildlife, but rarely capture the image as I imagine it; this one comes very close to what I had in mind.

“It's mainly thanks to my friends at Witley Court who told me the great crested grebe were there and to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust for inspiring me to take wildlife photos in Worcestershire with their great promotional work of the county's treasures and their yearly photographic competition encouraging all to do the same.

“Having just seen the runner’s-up in the competition I am amazed that mine is one of the twelve winners let alone the overall winner.

“I am honoured that my image is on the front cover and hope that it will help sell many calendars and thus help Worcestershire Wildlife Trust to continue to do their sterling work in promoting, protecting and propagating all wildlife in this glorious county of Worcestershire."

All Trust staff are involved with the judging process before enlisting the help of Pete Walkden of Pete Walkden Photography and Jason Curtis of Wyre Wildlife, both local wildlife photographers and previous winners of the competition.

Wendy added “We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who entered and to Pete and Jason for helping with the difficult judging decisions.

“Whilst photographs have been taken on our nature reserves and in the wider countryside, it’s great to see so many photographs of wildlife are being taken in entrants’ gardens, which demonstrates just how important our own spaces are for wildlife and how much joy we can get from wildlife in the areas close to home.

“Increasingly research is showing that being close to and spending time in green spaces is rally beneficial for our wellbeing. Watching wildlife can be exciting, relaxing and inspiring and helping wildlife at home can give a real sense of purpose and satisfaction.

“We’d just remind people to have a camera to hand in order to capture the action!”

Entries for the 2021 calendar will open later this year.

The calendar is available to buy from the Trust’s offices or online shop and costs £7.00. 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 groupFacebook page and Twitter account.