TV Naturalist Chris Packham Presented 6 National Prizes

WWT London Wetland Centre hosted the photographer & prize winners

All the finalists were invited to the winners' day to be on hand for individual feedback from the judges and to attend a special photography workshop with Mr Packham.

The competition, now in its fourth year, reflects the broad range of our wetlands in the UK.  Six prizes were awarded to the overall winners of each of the categories.  New for this year was the option for the public to vote for their favourite images online.  Over 61,000 votes were cast and the photograph from each region which attracted the most votes was put forward to the national judging panel to decide the overall winner. 

The Wetland Wildlife Photograph of the Year, supported by New York State and Continental Airlines, was won by Naomi Roper of Sunderland for her contemplative portrait of an African comb duck taken at WWT Washington.

On behalf of the judges, Chris Packham commented:
"This is a really interesting photograph.  Although it isn't the most attractive bird, Naomi has really managed to capture the richness of the colour of the feathers on the bird's back."

The judges were also particularly pleased with the lighting and composition of Martin Marks OBE's photograph of a young family starting out in birdwatching.  Andy Snape won an adventure holiday to North Devon courtesy of North Devon & Exmoor for his image of three whooper swans in flight over the Ouse Washes at WWT Welney Wetland Centre.

Winning photographsSpeaking at the event, Chris Packham said:
"The competition has been running for a few years now, and it's really gathered some momentum with more entries and undoubtedly higher quality - the winners seem to be getting better year on year.  So it's a pleasure to come back to it and take a look at what people have found at WWT centres.

The Winning photographs:

Top left:     
                  Wetland Wildlife category overall winner

                                       Naomi Roper 'A moment's peace' - WWT Washington Wetland Centre

Top middle:                  People & Wildlife category overall winner

                                       Martin Marks OBE: 'Start them young' - WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre

Top right:                      People's Choice category overall winner

                                       Andy Snape: 'Angels on the wing' -   WWT Welney Wetland Centre

Bottom left:                 Wetland Landscapes category overall winner

                                       Helen Davies: 'Sunset over the lake' -WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre 

Bottom middle:           Quirky category overall winner

                                       Robert Falcon: 'Tough guy' - WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre

Bottom right:              Junior (Under 16) category overall winner

                                      Alexander Baker: 'Vole's breakfast'  - WWT Arundel Wetland Centre

Chris contiunued:
"WWT centres are great for photography because frankly you've got wildlife on a plate here and it doesn't matter whether it's the captive collection where the birds are obviously very used to close contact with people everyday or the wild birds that come to the reserves to stay or breed here.  It's not a place you have to come and stalk the wildlife, it's a place where you can come and concentrate more on the photography and just getting close to your subject.   And of course its not just birds, there are lots of other wildlife at WWT centres, mammals, insects, you name it, it's here."  

Following the death of wildlife photographer and WWT director Lady Scott, the WWT Photography Competition has been held in her memory.  Speaking at the winners' day, WWT Chief Executive Martin Spray said:
" The photographs are of a really high standard this year. I'm sure Lady Scott would have been thrilled with the number and quality of the entries. They really reflect the beauty and diversity of wetlands, which as we all know are very seriously threatened.""

February 1, 2011