DANCING birds, close-up ants, undersides of fungi and sublime countryside were among the subjects in more than 400 images from over 80 photographers who submitted pictures for the annual Worcestershire Wildlife Trust calendar competition.
Judges said choosing the 12 winners of this year’s contest was harder than ever before.
Those selected will now get a copy of the fund-raising calendar featuring their images.
Each winning photograph features as an A4 image in the Trust’s 2022 calendar. A further 24 photographs by runners up feature as smaller inserts.
Wendy Carter, organiser of the competition, congratulated the winners and said: “We knew lockdown had given people the opportunity to spend more time noticing nature but we were overwhelmed with entries to this year’s competition.
“Our beautiful county is home to lots of fascinating wildlife and, as we discover every year, it’s also home to some very talented photographers who enjoy watching wildlife.
“Whether you’re watching wildlife in your garden, your local park or on a nature reserve, it’s always worth keeping a camera to hand – you never know what you might stumble across.
“Nature is there for us all.”
The overall winner of the competition, whose photograph appears on the front cover, was chosen by a public vote run promoted across the Trust’s social media channels in June.
Rebekah Nash, of Catshill in Bromsgrove, was delighted her picture of two great crested grebes performing a courtship dance at Arrow Valley Country Park, beat off stiff competition from three other images in order to win the coveted top prize.
She said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have been chosen as one of the twelve winning images to grace this year’s calendar.
“And to then be chosen as the overall winner, I am lost for words.”
Rebekah’s image has been chosen for March.
Prior to hers there is Trench Wood nature reserve by Gillian Smith (January) and Buzzard by Worcester’s David Meredith (February).
April’s image is Menithwood walk by Martin Bennett (Eardiston), May’s is Mayfly, Leigh Sinton, by Simon Pugh, June’s is Grass snake, Hanbury Hall, by David Cole (Bromsgrove) and August is represented by Otters, River Arrow, by Matthew Lissimore.
Grass snake by David Cole. s
The last four are Sunflower, Wyke Manor Estate, Pershore, by Lauren French (Alcester) for September, Foggy Morning, Severn Valley by Ric Harding (Powick) for October, Fungi, Piper’s Hill and Dodderhill Commons nature reserve by Malcolm Styles (Worcester) for November and Great tit and blackbird, Egdon by Yana Northen for December.
Previous winners of the competition, professional wildlife photographer Pete Walkden (Pete Walkden Photography) and semi-professional wildlife photographer Jason Curtis (Wyre Wildlife), helped whittle the shortlist down to just 12 winners.
The calendar is available to buy from the Trust’s online shop – worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/shop – for £8 with all proceeds directly benefiting the Trust’s work to protect Worcestershire’s wildlife and wild places.
We have included a selection of the photographs featured in the calendar but all the winning photographs can be viewed here