Cameras and smartphones at the ready, it’s time to get outdoors and focus on wildlife, as Cornwall Wildlife Trust launches its first ever Cornish Wildlife Photography Competition of this kind.
Judged by wildlife broadcaster Hannah Stitfall plus top local wildlife and photography experts Cheryl Marriott, Adrian Langdon, David Chapman and Karin Aldridge, and culminating in a special exhibition at Truro Cathedral later in the year.
To cater for all interests, there are five categories that encapsulate Cornwall’s natural beauty and wildlife, each with a winner and four runners up:
Sponsored by St. Eval. Cornwall is blessed with an array of beautiful and magnificent animals, from choughs nesting on the rocky shores to grey seals playing in the surf and deer roaming Bodmin Moor. Send in your best shots of animal life in wild Cornwall.
Sponsored by Seasalt. Cornwall has a longer coastline than any county in England, and a spectacular underwater world. Images for this category can focus on animal behaviour or underwater environments that highlight the incredible biodiversity and colour of Cornish marine life. Remember to explore our wonderful freshwater environments too.
Plants and fungi, sponsored by Southern England Farms. This category includes botanical subjects photographed in Cornwall; trees, plants, flowers, fungi and lichens. Capture the essence, beauty and diversity of Cornwall’s botanical world, whether close-up, macro, or as part of a wider scene.
People in nature
Sponsored by Sunhouse Creative. Nature lifts our spirits, boosts our health and wellbeing and so much more. This category highlights what nature means to us in Cornwall, to celebrate it and show how closely connected we can be. Images for this category should focus on people in Cornwall's beautiful landscapes and scenery.
Wildlife on my doorstep
Sponsored by Woodland Collection. An opportunity to showcase the wildlife that can be found close to home – wild animals or plants in our Cornish gardens, villages, towns, parks, and backyards.
Plus, there is a Young Photographer category, sponsored by Visit Cornwall, for children aged under 18 years. Photos can be from any of the categories above, and the winner will be awarded the title ‘Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Young Photographer of the Year 2023’.
In addition, there will be a special bonus category. Those fortunate enough to make the final round will not only have their photography exhibited at Truro Cathedral, but will also be entered into the ‘People’s Choice’ award. The public will vote to choose the best overall, with the winner receiving the ‘2023 People’s Choice Award’ at the end of the year.
Cornwall Wildlife Trust spokesperson Scott Marsden said: “This competition aims to inspire the people of Cornwall to discover our amazing wildlife through their cameras and smartphones. We want to encourage more people to become aware of the unique wealth of wildlife in Cornwall, whether along the coast, in our moorland, heathland, farmland, wetlands, unique temperate woodland, or in our towns and villages.”
“When people look closely at the detail of nature’s colours, forms, behaviour, or simply the spectacular scenes around us, we experience a sense of wonder and awe, leading to greater wellbeing. We also become more aware of the threats to our natural treasures, and are more likely to take positive action to protect them. This competition will be a big celebration of wildlife, with many members of the public coming along to Truro Cathedral and viewing the winning photographs.
“We would like to thank our sponsors St. Eval, Seasalt, Southern England Farms, Sunhouse Creative, Woodland Collection and Visit Cornwall for making this year’s competition possible. And thank you to our judges Hannah Stitfall, Cheryl Marriott, Adrian Langdon, David Chapman and Karin Aldridge, and to Truro Cathedral for holding our exhibition this coming autumn.”
In addition to prizes and trophies, the winning and runner-up photos will be on display on canvases in the cathedral from 6th October until November 17 2023, along with inspiring wildlife conservation information relating to each one.
Entries must be submitted by July 31. The other important rule is that entrants must take all reasonable care not to disturb wildlife and the environment – many species, such as grey seals and nesting birds, are highly sensitive to disturbance, and must not be approached closely for the sake of a good image.