1. Countryfile

Countryfile Photographic Competition 2009


A massive thank you to everyone who entered our annual photographic competition. The theme was 'Wild and Wonderful' - and you certainly didn't disappoint. Here are the winning entries that will all feature in our 2010 Countryfile Calendar. The BBC Children In Need Appeal will get £4 from the sale of each calendar. If you want to buy one, you can click on the link at the bottom of this page.

Snowy Squirrel, by Cheryl Surry

The photo that Countryfile viewers voted as the overall winner was Snowy Squirrel, by Cheryl Surry. The picture was taken near Kincraig in Scotland, where Cheryl was on holiday. It's a location that she returns to frequently, as the red squirrels found there are her favourite subject - possibly, she says, because they remind her of Tufty, the road safety squirrel. On this occasion she dedicated two weeks to photographing them, and she was especially pleased that it snowed, as her previous three winter trips to Kincraig were dry - right up until she got in the car to drive home.

Below you can view the other eleven finalists in the competition, find out more about the person behind the lens, and discover how each photograph came about.

Golden Dawn, by Robert Fulton

Golden Dawn, by Robert Fulton

Robert has been a keen amateur photographer for sixteen years and is a member of a local camera club. He took this picture at Loch Ard, very early in the morning when the light was perfect. He's never photographed a heron in this situation before and thinks it was a very lucky shot. There was just one heron around at the time and it kept moving, so it was proved quite tricky to get the photo.

Lone Tree, by David Stephenson

Lone Tree, by David Stephenson

David retired from the fire service fifteen years ago, and has been doing amateur photography ever since. He often sets out early in the morning and waits around for the first signs of daylight so that he can get the best shots. He says it's exhausting, but he loves it. This picture was taken at Malham in Yorkshire, where David waited for four hours hoping for the right lighting conditions. Typically, they occurred just as he was getting in his car to leave, so he ran back to the scene and caught this image just in time.

March Hare, by Laurence Watton

March Hare, by Laurence Watton

Laurence spent seven hours taking photos of hares in a Staffordshire field, near where he lives. The hare in this photograph kept coming closer and closer until it filled the lens; he couldn't believe how close it came. However, Lawrence's real passion is kingfishers - he is a keen fisherman and got into photography three or four years ago when he kept wishing that he had a camera to hand so that he could capture the wildlife he saw on his trips.

Perfect Poise, by Nick McKeown

Perfect Poise, by Nick McKeown

Nick has been interested in photography for around twenty years, but has only been photographing butterflies and dragonflies for the last eighteen months or so. This picture of an orange-tip was taken in April at a small butterfly reserve in Argyll. He noticed a field with lots of cuckoo flowers and butterflies, and crouched down to take a picture of a butterfly. Just as Nick was about to press the shutter release button, the sun came out and beautifully backlit another butterfly - so he took that shot instead.

Reflected Glory, by Keith Prescott

Reflected Glory, by Keith Prescott

Apart from photography, Keith's main hobby is carp angling, but he's always on the lookout for a good picture while he's fishing. This image was taken on a January morning before the sun came up. A group of goosanders were fishing on a small stretch of the lake while Keith was waiting to get a photo of them moving. Luckily for him, a dog barked and this particular goosander shot off down the lake.

Flower Power, by Gary Gray

Flower Power, by Gary Gray

Flower Power was selected by the judges, John Craven, Jo Brand and Chris Packham, as their favourite. Gary, the photographer, describes himself as a seriously bad amateur. He takes his camera with him everywhere and always keeps an eye out for a good picture. He prefers landscapes as his subjects, but will photograph anything that catches his eye. This picture of a magnificent wildflower bank was taken on a trip that he and his wife took to the Eden Project in Cornwall, with the raised angle of the flowers giving Gary a better perspective for the image.

Swan Lake, by Callum Musgrove

Swan Lake, by Callum Musgrove

This shot was taken at 5.00am on a misty morning, when 13-year-old Callum took his dog for a walk round the local lake and got some photos of the sunrise along the way. Callum has been taking pictures for about two years, and he and his family often venture out early in the morning to take photos of the moon and the wildlife in this same park. Callum's mum entered the competition too, and he's pleased to have beaten her!

Web of Pearls, by Annie Durkan

Web of Pearls, by Annie Durkan

Annie is a grandmother who has come to photography later in life. She got her camera two years ago and has been driving her family mad ever since, taking photos of anything and everything - mainly around the farm where she lives. This shot was taken early on an August morning, when she saw the lovely dewy cobwebs covering the fences and grass.

Morning Light, by Tony Lovell

Morning Light, by Tony Lovell

Tony had just bought a new camera and equipment for a trip to Yellowstone Park in the USA. He decided to go out for a practice session in his local park to try it out on slightly different wildlife. It was thanks to the new responsive equipment he'd just purchased that he was able to capture this moment.

Say Cheese! by Geoffrey Hill

Say Cheese! by Geoffrey Hill

This family mouse portrait was taken at Hardwick Park, Sedgefield, near where the photographer lives, and where he spends a lot of time taking photographs. Geoffrey's three-year-old grandson spotted the mouse nest in a hole in a tree. The nest became a real passion for him, but because he lives abroad his grandad agreed to keep an eye on it for the young boy. This shot was achieved after hours sitting outside the nest, and with the help of a few tempting treats for the subjects!

Waxwing in Winter, by David Hermon

Waxwing in Winter, by David Hermon

David's job requires him to travel a lot, and he always takes his camera with him on his trips just in case he finds some interesting wildlife. This picture was taken at Rendelsham, north of Woodbridge in Suffolk, when he discovered a flock of waxwings that had found a bush bursting with berries. It took a lot of persistence to get this shot, as the birds kept swooping down to pick the berries before quickly flying back to the trees.

Buy the Countryfile calendar


All twelve finalists will feature in next year's Countryfile calendar, which costs £9. A minimum of £4 from each sale will go to the BBC's Children in Need appeal. You can order it by clicking on the link below or by calling the order line on 0844 811 7044.

To order by post send your name, address and cheque to:

BBC Countryfile Calendar
PO Box 25
Melton Mowbray
LE13 1ZG.

Please make cheques payable to BBC Countryfile Calendar.

Click here to buy the calendar.

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