An up-and-coming young photographer from Orpington in Kent has been presented with the prestigious Julian Gardner Award by one of the UK's most respected research charities.
16-year-old Christopher Page was named the winner of the award earlier this year by the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) and presented with his trophy by GWCT Adviser Peter Thompson on Thursday 24 October. The Julian Gardner Award is named in honour of the East Sussex farmer who was tragically murdered while defending his property in 2010.
Julian was a life-long member of the GWCT and a keen supporter of its ground-breaking wildlife research. The Julian Gardner Awards were first given in his memory in 2012, made possible by a donation from Julian's friends and family that funded the commissioning of two magnificent bronze hare trophies. The Awards are given to photographs that best capture the British countryside that Julian loved so much.
Christopher's winning photograph depicts an atmospheric woodland scene bathed in soft golden sunlight and autumnal colours. It was taken at the Polesdon Lacey estate in Surrey while Christopher was 15, and entered into the 16-and-under category of the Julian Gardner Award. Christopher's talents have also been recognised by The Sunday Times Magazine, who made the same photograph one of the finalists in their Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards 2013.
Christopher said, "I particularly enjoy taking photographs of landscapes. I love the way it makes you really look at the detail."
The prize in the adult category was previously awarded to Martin Munn of Smallfield, Surrey, by former environment minister Richard Benyon in July. Christopher was unable to attend the prize-giving, held at the CLA Game Fair in Warwickshire, and was instead presented with his trophy at his home in Orpington.
Peter Thompson was one of the judges of this year's competition along with celebrated professional wildlife photographer Laurie Campbell and GWCT publications editor Louise Shervington. Peter said, "We were really impressed by the way Christopher captured the stunning colours of an autumn day. His composition is excellent and really draws the viewer's eye through to the field in the distance."
The GWCT is now inviting entries for next year’s competition. The Julian Gardner Award is only open to amateur photographers and entries must be taken within the UK. The award is split into two categories; adult and a 16 and under category. The closing date is 31st May 2014 and the two winners will be presented with their trophies at the CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace in 2014. For more information visit: www.gwct.org.uk/photocompetition.
Photocaptions: (1) Christopher Page (left) receives the Julian Gardner Award 16-and-under trophy from GWCT's Peter Thompson. (2) Christopher Page's award-winning photograph of autumn colours.
Notes to editors
The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.
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