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See nature in all its glory through prize-winning photographs

Thursday 26th May 2016

A kingfisher preening its outstretched wing, a little girl playing peek-a-boo in bluebells, a pin-sharp close-up of a rare butterfly, a colourful island of water lilies and a wintry woodland scene are all prize-winning images in this year’s Oxford Festival of Nature Photography Competition.

A total of 415 entries were received in the second annual competition organised by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, each entry vying for one of the top Lumix cameras generously donated by Panasonic, and a ProHides workshop with wildlife photographer Elliott Neep.

Kingfisher by Ian Curtis

Overall winner, and also winner of the Wildlife category, is Ian Curtis from Wolvercote in Oxford. Ian lives close to Wolvercote Lakes nature reserve, which is owned by the Oxford Preservation Trust, and spends many hours there taking photos of wildlife. His long-lens shot of the kingfisher preening its wing was judged to be outstanding.

 Dark green fritillary by Ben Kiteley

Thirteen-year-old Ben Kiteley from Banbury, Oxfordshire and winner of the Under 18 category, took an exceptionally sharp image of a dark green fritillary butterfly poised on a purple pyramidal orchid in Bradenham valley, Buckinghamshire. The judges were impressed by the quality of the image, especially as butterflies can be very hard to photograph!

Sunrise through woodland by Benjamin Waller

The Wild Places category was won by Benjamin Waller from Charlbury, Oxfordshire with a shot of sunrise through woodland near Cornbury Park on a frosty winter’s day. This black and white image also caught the attention of the Panasonic judge, who gave it a special award.

Floating island by Pat Clark

A pretty floating island of water lilies in the lake at Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire was captured by Pat Clark from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, who won the Mobile Phone category.

Peak-a-boo by Roy McDonald

The My Wild Life category was won by Roy McDonald from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, with an adorable photo of a girl playing peek-a-boo among the bluebells at the Wildlife Trust’s Dancersend nature reserve near Wendover.

The winning images will be displayed at the Wild Fair on Saturday 4 June at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.

The Oxford Festival of Nature from 1 to 14 June is run by the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust, in partnership with Oxford City Council, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the Oxford Festival of the Arts and many local community groups and organisations. Dozens of events are happening across the city and in the countryside, enabling thousands of people to get closer to nature and wildlife.

Runners-Up:

  • Mobile Phone. Lucy Tomkinson with: Four spot dragonfly at Otmoor.
  • My Wild Life. Sue Croxford with: Playing in the stream.
  • Under 18. Alex White with: Ladybird on a carline thistle seedhead
  • Wild Places. Howard Stanbury with: Wytham Woods in the snow
  • Wildlife. Olivia Dickson with: Ant in a big world.

Commended:

  • Mobile Phone. Gemma Newman with: Tranquillity of trees in Bucks. Lucy Tomkinson with: Bluebells in Bowdown Woods.
  • My Wild Life. Sue Croxford with: Day-dreaming in the Chilterns. Olivia Dickson with: Walking with them.
  • Under 18. Ben Kiteley with: Adonis blue butterfly at Aston Rowant
  • Wild Places. Cat Prior-Holt with: Golden hide at Standlake.
  • Wild Life. Ella Cooke with: Basking grass snake in Bucks. Cat Prior-Holt with: Good to bee home. Nigel Kiteley with: Female black-tailed skimmer dragonfly at Calvert Jubilee, and also with: Silver-spotted skipper butterfly at Aston Rowant. Tony Pay with Robin nesting in hay.