Photo winners announced

Pearl-bordered fritillary by Richard Clifford

From harvest mice to hoverflies and waxwings to spider webs, twelve photographers from across Worcestershire are celebrating after being chosen as winners in a popular county wildlife calendar.

Each year, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust runs a photography competition to celebrate the natural wonders of the county’s gardens, greenspaces, towns and countryside.  Photographers are invited to enter images to win the chance of being featured in the charity’s fundraising calendar.

Wendy Carter, organiser of the competition, explained “From gardens to nature reserves and in both our urban and rural spaces, we have some wonderful wildlife and wild places.

“We’ve also got some very talented photographers who make life difficult for our judges!

“This year we had almost 300 images entered by 50 photographers and competition was fierce. However, we’re so pleased to see that we’ve got a wonderful calendar full of fantastic images that will look great in people’s homes and the sales of which will help our conservation work right across the county.”

All winning images feature as A4 pages in the Trust’s 2021 calendar, which also features 24 further runners-up photos as smaller inserts.

The overall winner, whose photograph features on the front cover of the calendar, is Richard Clifford of Bromsgrove.

Richard’s pearl-bordered fritillary (above), taken in the Wyre Forest, beat off strong competition from three other images in a public vote run across the Trust’s social media channels.

Richard said “I am absolutely amazed and thrilled to be announced as the overall winner of this great competition.

The news of being a finalist was praise enough but being voted the overall winner has blown me away. Thank you to anyone and everyone that voted for my picture.
Richard Clifford
Overall winner

“I class myself as an ‘over enthusiastic amateur photographer’ and, as other similar photographers will understand, my biggest critic is myself; that’s why a big part of this success is down to those other photographers.

“I am lucky to have met so many people that I am now happy to call good friends, either in the field where we chat or on various social media platforms where we help and encourage each other wherever we can - some of these I may never meet but without all of them, I may not have achieved this and I’d like to thank them all….you know who you are!

“This particular shot was taken in the Wyre Forest where I was out walking with my wife Jill. We literally stumbled over this pearl-bordered fritillary and luckily it stayed put for quite some time, enabling me to take my time composing the shot. Some days you just get lucky, I guess.

“Finally, thank you to Worcestershire Wildlife Trust for providing us with the chance to showcase our work. Our wildlife is in safe hands with you.”

Staff from across the Trust get involved with judging a longlist of images before local wildlife photographers and previous winners of the competition, Pete Walkden of Pete Walkden Photography and Jason Curtis of Wyre Wildlife, help to choose the twelve winners.

Wendy added “A big thank you is due to all the photographers who took time to sort through their photos and enter this year’s competition as well to Pete and Jason for helping to judge this year’s shortlist.

“It’s great to see so many varied images of our wildlife and wild places, demonstrating just how much there is to see in Worcestershire if you take the time to look.  This year’s winning images were taken in gardens, on our nature reserves and whilst people were on walks in their local areas – nature is there for us all to discover and enjoy.

“We always have good numbers of photos of wildlife taken in people’s gardens and we expect that, due to this year’s lockdown restrictions, this will boom next year so we’d like to take the chance to encourage everyone to look closer at the wild space on their doorstep to see what they can find. Just don’t forget to have a camera close to hand!”

The calendar is available to buy from the Trust’s 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 group, Facebook page and Twitter account. 

Entries for the 2022 calendar will open later this year.

2021 Calendar: winners
2021 Calendar: runners-up