​Photographers urged to celebrate the British countryside

Budding photographers young and old are being encouraged to enter the latest Julian Gardner Awards.

The competition is a celebration of the UK countryside – be it game, gardens, wildlife, or landscape – and judges at the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) are eager to see what’s on show.

New and experienced amateur photographers are welcome to enter and the popular junior category is open to anyone aged 16 or under.

The competition has been running for many years and was launched in memory of Julian Gardner, a Sussex farmer who was tragically killed while defending his property in October 2010.

Last year’s adult winner, Paul Harwood, entered a spectacular close-up picture of a toad which impressed the judges. He noted: “I’m thrilled to bits not only for achieving first place but to have caught, what I think, was a unique moment in nature.” Previous winners have included photographs of an osprey, a puffin and a combine harvester busy at work.

Bathtime by Katy Read

Young photographers are captivated by the chance to have their work judged alongside others. Last year’s winner, 15-year-old Katy Read, who captured a dunnock while bathing in the rain. She was delighted that the judges chose to recognise the quality of her photograph rather than the bird itself. She said “It's a real shame that common garden birds often get overlooked. People seem to know more about exotic species than the ones they see every day”.

Each year the winner of the adult category is awarded with a sculpture of a hare and the victor of the junior category is presented with a sculpture of a leveret. They also receive a print of their photograph to display at home and each winning image is showcased in the GWCT magazine, Gamewise.

Judge James Swyer, press & publications manager at GWCT, said: “Last year we were very fortunate to have a whole host of fantastic entries. I can’t wait to see what comes in this year – there are always a few pleasant surprises.”

Anyone wishing to take part can email a maximum of two photographs to editor@gwct.org.uk or complete the entry form online at www.gwct.org.uk/photocompetition

The closing date is May 31st.

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