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South Downs National Park 2023 photography winner revealed

Snow On Wolstonbury <i>(Image: Matt Goddard/South Downs National Park Authority/PA Wire)</i>
Snow On Wolstonbury (Image: Matt Goddard/South Downs National Park Authority/PA Wire)

A “spellbinding” image of autumn leaves resting on a snowy landscape has won the annual photographic competition run by the South Downs National Park.

The shot called Snow On Wolstonbury, taken by Matt Goddard, won the contest which had a theme of “new perspective” for the 2023 event.

The winner, from Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex, who won £250, said: “My love of exploring the South Downs started during childhood and hasn’t stopped since.

“Sussex is blessed to have the national park’s rich history, varied landscape and stunning views. Capturing and sharing its beauty has played a big part in my career and enjoyment of landscape photography.

“I am truly honoured to be awarded for my Wolstonbury Hill woodland photo. A snowy landscape is always magical and the last of autumn’s golden leaves came as a pleasant surprise. There’s a timeless feel to Wolstonbury, as with all my favourite views of the South Downs.”

Carlotta Luke, a photographer and one of the competition judges, said: “It’s a new perspective having the snow on the autumn leaves and the complete contrast.

“The shape of the path is drawing me into the photo and I just want to be there in that snowy South Downs landscape. The orange leaves are just beautiful on the white snow.”

Great British Life: Kingston RidgeKingston Ridge (Image: James Ratchford/South Downs National Park Authority/PA Wire)

James Ratchford, from Lewes, was runner-up for his shot titled Kingston Ridge which shows the criss-crossing hills near Lewes and a flock of gulls flying overhead.

Photographer and judge Finn Hopson said: “The soft light hitting the hills is wonderful. This is such a well-thought-out photograph. It’s incredible that this kind of landscape is on the urban fringe and is surrounded by the Brighton conurbation.”

Mr Ratchford said: “The South Downs bring me joy year round and this image expresses much of what I love about them – the fog that hugs the hills on windless mornings, the criss-crossing gentle slopes, the singing skylarks and views to the sea.”

Great British Life: Wiggle WanderingWiggle Wandering (Image: Ian Brierley/South Downs National Park Authority/PA Wire)

The third place prize was awarded to Wiggle Wandering, by Ian Brierley, from Lindfield, who captured a springtime shot of Wildhams Wood, near Chichester.

Winning the competition’s wildlife category was Duckling Amongst The Crowsfoot, by David Jeffery, of Portslade, who captured the shot at Steyning Upper Pond, which is currently being restored by the community to encourage wildlife.

Runner-up in the category was awarded to Bluebells For All, captured at Wyck, near Alton in Hampshire, by Sarah Womersley, from Binsted, with third place going to Richard Murray, of Waterlooville, for his photograph of two badgers at Petworth called Evening Embrace.

The public will now be given the chance to vote for the People’s Choice from all the winning photos.

Great British Life: Duckling Amongst The CrowsfootDuckling Amongst The Crowsfoot (Image: David Jeffery/South Downs National Park Authority/PA Wire)Great British Life: Bluebells For AllBluebells For All (Image: Sarah Womersley/South Downs National Park Authority/PA Wire)Great British Life: Evening Embrace - badgers bonding at PetworthEvening Embrace - badgers bonding at Petworth (Image: Richard Murray/South Downs National Park)



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