'Glistening Stream' by Symone Urbanek. Mediadrumimages / Symone Urbanek

By Kate Harrold


BEST OF BRITAIN: Winning entries of the Life in Lockdown photography competition showcase the UK’s stunning countryside and wildlife.

Katie Waddington’s winning image, ‘The Rise of the Red-Headed Cardinal Beetle,’ captured a beetle perched atop a flower-bud in the countryside surrounding Katie’s home in Winchester.

Another stand-out image taken by Ben Brearley is titled ‘Power and Peace,’ and featured the silhouette of a stag as the sun’s early-morning rays broke through the dark cloud cover on the Isle of Skye.

‘Escaping Confinement’ by Harrison Wood. Mediadrumimages / Harrison Wood

The Life in Lockdown competition was established by Explorers Against Extinction – a UK-based conservation charity. Entrants were tasked with capturing images that featured the ‘natural world’ including local wildlife and wild spaces – all within the parameters of lockdown.

“The entries to the competition have provided a really fascinating snapshot of our wild world during lockdown. From all over the British Isles and beyond, we’ve seen wildlife, spring blossom, and beautiful views celebrated. It’s really uplifting,” Sara White, trustee, said.

“With shops and recreational facilities shut, people from all walks of life have enjoyed reconnecting with nature. I think we’ve all found solace in the great outdoors during this tough time.

‘Bird’s Eye’ by Sam Pestell. Mediadrumimages / Sam Pestell

“Our hope is that people continue to appreciate the beauty of wildlife and wild spaces on their doorstep, and to make small changes in their daily lives to safeguard the wild. Plant bee-friendly blooms in your garden, feed the birds, support your local wildlife trust, walk more, drive less, and reduce, reuse, and recycle.”

Katie Waddington’s winning entry, ‘The Rise of the Red-Headed Cardinal Beetle,’ was captured by Katie whilst on her daily walk in lockdown. The photograph won the competition with 10-percent of the public vote.

Second place was awarded to Sam Pestell for his photo, ‘Bird’s Eye,’ in which he captured a portrait of a Kestrel in his back garden in Norfolk. Carrie-Anne Goodchild took away third prize for her image, ‘Watching the Kids Fly the Nest.’

‘Power & Peace’ by Ben Brearley. Mediadrumimages / Ben Brearley

“This photo was taken in Shropshire. We came across a tawny owl. Mum sat opposite keeping an eye on the chicks which were in a tree. Dad was in a nearby coppice, occasionally calling,” Carrie-Anne said.

Ben Brearley’s ‘Power and Peace,’ features the silhouette of a stag and is a stand-out entry. The image was taken at Loch Tulla on the beautiful Isle of Skye in Scotland.

“Following a heavy downpour, I spotted a break in the clouds so I pulled over to take a picture only to find this handsome stag stood in the foreground,” Ben said.

‘Dandelion Clock’ by Hannah Kirby. Mediadrumimages / Hannah Kirby

Jason Parnell’s photo, ‘Discovering Home,’ captures a sentiment many people across the country have recently experienced. The image was taken only a short drive away from Jason’s home in Somerset yet he had never stumbled across this picturesque lane.

“At the beginning of lockdown, I used my one permitted daily exercise outing to take up cycling as a form of escape and meditation. On one particularly long ride, I discovered this beautiful winding road lined with beech, oak, and horse chestnut trees,” Jason said.

‘Bumblebee Life’ by Becky Gypsea Art. Mediadrumimages / Becky Gypsea Art

“Despite living here for years, it took a worldwide pandemic to discover what was right on my doorstep. I now visit each night just to breathe the air, and listen to the shimmer of the leaves as the wind rakes through them.”

For more, see www.explorersagainstextinction.co.uk.