22 July 2014

Amateur photographers show their talent for capturing wildlife

Shaun Barrow (centre) is presented with the Julian Gardner Memorial Trophy by Julian’s sister Anna Murphy (right). GWCT Chief Executive Teresa Dent (left) displays Shaun's winning photograph of a cuckoo. Photocredit: Jon FarmerThe Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) is pleased to announce the winners of the third annual Julian Gardner Award photography competition. Shaun Barrow of Barnstaple in Devon has won the adult category for his dramatic picture of a cuckoo, while Mairi Eyres of Llangedwyn, Powys captured a delicate image of a beetle and has been named the winner of the 16-and-under category.

The competition was launched in memory of Julian Gardner, a farmer and lifelong supporter of the GWCT,
who was tragically killed while defending his property near Robertsbridge, East Sussex in October 2010. A Mairi Eyres (centre) is presented with the 16-and-under Julian Gardner Memorial Trophy for her beetle photograph by Julian’s sister Anna Murphy (right) and the GWCT’s Teresa Dent (left). Photocredit: Jon Farmervery kind donation from Julian’s family and friends enabled this leading conservation research charity to buy the two trophies, which are presented to the winners to display for a year. The winners also receive prints of their award-winning photographs.

Challenging amateur photographers to capture images of the ‘real countryside’, the GWCT was overwhelmed by the number of enthusiastic photographers that entered this inspiring competition this year as well as the very high standard of entries. The GWCT was also especially delighted and proud that Julian’s sister Anna Murphy, who lives in Bletchingley near Redhill in Surrey, was able to present the trophies to the winners in memory of her brother.

The winners and runners-up were decided by the GWCT’s three regular judges including renowned wildlife photographer Laurie Campbell, GWCT biodiversity advisor Peter Thompson, and publications editor Louise Shervington.

Laurie Campbell said, “Since the advent of digital cameras and the internet we could be forgiven for thinking that just about everything in the natural world has been so comprehensively photographed that we might despair of ever finding anything new to document. Well, the winning entries of this year’s competition prove that there is always another way – it just comes down to spending time in the field and using a little imagination.”

Shaun Barrow, from Barnstaple and overall winner in the adult category, was a well deserving winner with his remarkable image of a cuckoo. Shaun says that wildlife photography is his first love and said,”I was really thrilled to win this award, especially as it was judged by one of our leading British wildlife photographers.” Shaun spends most of his weekends on Exmoor, taking other fabulous images of deer, foxes and other wildlife that live on the moor. He explains, “Sometimes you have to wait hours to get that perfect shot but occasionally you hit the jackpot and get really lucky such as the group of cuckoos that came into focus just as I aimed my camera. It was a thrilling moment and I am really delighted that it was so successful.”

Fifteen year old Mairi Eyres, who attends Llanfylllin High School in Powys, Wales was the winner in the under 16 category. Mairi said, “I have been interested in the natural world for as long as I can remember and first started trying to photograph wildlife when I was about 5 or 6. I really enjoy trying to capture things in a new and exciting way.” As well as winning the Julian Gardner competition, Mairi’s pictures have been recognised in the British Wildlife Photography Awards and International Garden Photographer of the Year. She continued, “This is the first time I have actually won a national competition and I am really thrilled and excited.”

The runners-up were named as Sue Dudley from Worcestershire and Melissa Oligario of West Sussex in the adult category, and Amelia Ghanbouri from Norfolk and Alice Halstead of North Yorkshire in the 16-and-unders, all of whom will receive prints of their photographs.

The GWCT would like to congratulate the winners and runners-up, and to thank all the entrants for making 2014 such an outstanding year for the Julian Gardner Awards. Details of next year’s Julian Gardner Award are posted on the GWCT’s website at: www.gwct.org.uk/photocompetition.

END

Photocaptions:

(1) Shaun Barrow (centre) is presented with the Julian Gardner Memorial Trophy by Julian’s sister Anna Murphy (right). GWCT Chief Executive Teresa Dent (left) displays Shaun's winning photograph of a cuckoo.

(2) Mairi Eyres (centre) is presented with the 16-and-under Julian Gardner Memorial Trophy for her beetle photograph by Julian’s sister Anna Murphy (right) and the GWCT’s Teresa Dent (left). 

Photocredit: Jon Farmer


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.

ISDN radio broadcast line – at our Fordingbridge HQ we have an ISDN radio broadcast line, allowing us to conduct interviews remotely.

For information, contact:
Kate Williams
Telephone: 01425 651000
Email: press@gwct.org.uk

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