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‘Captivating Colours’ Takes Photography Competition Crown

Essex Wildlife Trust announces the winner of their 2021 Wildlife Photography Competition.

The winning image of a bumblebee collecting pollen, by Nigel Harris

Photographers from across Essex have, once again, captured the diversity and abundance of wildlife that live within our county through their lenses. This years’ competition, hosted by the charity Essex Wildlife Trust, saw close to 1,000 entries, displaying the variety of Essex’s wildlife and wild places.


From the tiniest of invertebrates to majestic birds of prey, the scope of Essex’s wildlife was presented to a panel of judges who whittled the entries down to the final six category winners.

Since December, the public has been voting for their overall favourite, to be crowned the winner of this years’ competition.


The Trust is pleased to announce the winner of the overall competition is Nigel Harris, with his spectacular image of a bumblebee ‘Collecting Pollen’ taken at Lake Meadows, in Billericay. As the winner of our ‘Captivating Colours’ category, Harris exemplifies the importance of bees in our ecosystem, and how exciting nature on our doorstep can be.


In response to being announced as the winner of the competition, Harris says: “I am absolutely thrilled and delighted to have won and consider it a huge honour, especially in view of the extremely high standard of entries this year from so many talented photographers. I would like to thank everyone who voted and of course the judges for choosing my photo as one of the category winners.


Harris continues: “I am lucky to have Lake Meadows Park close to my home in Billericay, and I often go there with my camera to connect with nature and try to capture some images of the wildlife that I encounter on my walks. The park offers something different throughout the seasons and the colourful flower meadow is always beautiful in the summertime. I like to stop there awhile and look for insect life to photograph against the bright colours and that’s how I came to take the ‘Collecting Pollen’ image.”


Harris’ was not the only image to present Essex’s intricate invertebrates. ‘Gardener’s World’ category winner Neil Phillips showcased another bee species, the red mason bee, amongst an artificial habitat. Meanwhile, the ‘Pattern and Texture’ title was taken by Jennifer Spittle, who captured the much-loved ladybird among a myriad of colours and texture – a sensory triumph.


Other category winners showcased the variety of bird species to be witnessed in Essex. From the juvenile sparrowhawk at Rainham Marshes winning the ‘Wilder Essex’ category for Karl Price, the spotted flycatcher appearing just long enough for Ben Rumsby to snap his shot and take first place in the ‘Young Blood’ category, and Neil Schofield capturing the barn owl flying overhead with its merciless prey, birds have a significant feature in this years’ winning line-up.


Sophie Hennessy, Marketing Manager at Essex Wildlife Trust, says: “We are pleased that the popularity of our competition continues to grow each year, reflecting the continuing importance of wildlife and nature in people’s lives. We are lucky to live amongst such fantastic species and are proud they can be showcased through our local photographers of all ages and all abilities.”


The Essex Wildlife Trust Photography Competition 2021 was sponsored by High Chelmer Shopping Centre.


Mick McDonagh, Centre Manager at High Chelmer Shopping Centre, says: “We were delighted to support this year’s Essex Wildlife Trust Photography Competition. The competition not only encourages enjoyment and appreciation of the nature on our doorstep, but also raises awareness of our talented community, offering the opportunity to showcase their expertise in the field. The entries for the competition have been incredible, and we’ve enjoyed looking through the lens at the diverse wildlife here in Essex. We very much look forward to showcasing the impressive photography at High Chelmer and encourage everyone to make a visit to explore this years’ winners.”


From February, High Chelmer Shopping Centre in Chelmsford will be displaying all of the winning images for members of the public to come and enjoy.

Essex Wildlife Trust’s 2022 Photography Competition will open for entries in September.

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