Capture nature for BBOWT photo competition

Round & About

wildlife trust

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust (BBOWT) has opened its annual nature photography competition for 2024 with new categories and prizes

Nature lovers of all ages are being invited to submit their best shots of animals, plants, people and scenery at BBOWT nature reserves and in the community.

This year the vote is also being thrown open to the public, with a new ‘People’s Choice Award’. There’s also an extra category for mobile phone photography.

This year’s top prizes include a high-spec birdbox camera, an exclusive wildlife photography masterclass with GG Wildlife Experiences and all winners will have the chance to see their photos featured in the Trust’s 2025 wildlife calendar. There are also bundles of nature books for younger entrants to win for their schools.

Rachel Levis, BBOWT’s Head of Events, said: “We’re thrilled to launch our photography competition again this year. It’s always such a treat to see so many amazing photos of wonderful wildlife taken on our patch. This year we have introduced a People’s Choice Award, which is a great way of getting our supporters involved with the very tricky judging decisions.

“The mobile phone has opened up nature photography to almost everyone, so we’re please to include a new category for that this year. Anyone from a six-year-old with a phone to a professional photographer with all the kit can enter – so why not send us your best shot?”

• Children (ages 6-11) – in any of the categories.
• Teens (ages 12-17) – in any of the categories.
• Birds
• Mammals
• Butterflies & other insects
• Our nature reserves
• Urban nature
• Taking action for nature
• Mobile phone photography

Examples of last year’s winners/ runners up:

Photographs for most categories must be taken on BBOWT reserves, and all must be taken in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire or Oxfordshire. The closing dates for entries is Monday, 26th August. Entries received by Sunday, 28th July, will also be considered for the People’s Choice Award.

Steve Gozdz of competition sponsor GG Wildlife Experiences added: “Wildlife photography can require patience but can be very rewarding – spending time in nature and capturing ‘that moment’ with a bird, mammal or insect can turn a glimpse in time into a real memory that can be savoured and shared with others. You never know when those ‘moments’ will occur, take your camera wherever you go and be aware of the beauty in nature around you.”

Wildlife Trusts online

Round & About

wildlife trust

The Wildlife Trusts have created wonderful online nature activities to encourage everyone to tune in to wildlife at home this spring – and to help people find solace in nature during tough times

Spot bees, butterflies, bats and birds during your permitted local walk, keep children entertained with nature-themed crafts, or tune in to look at fabulous wildlife footage and photos! 

The Wildlife Trusts are also offering plenty of practical outdoor advice to inspire us to do more for wildlife in gardens, balconies or window boxes. 

Tune in at The Wildlife Trusts launched a weekly wildlife programme on YouTube last week for kids and parents. A new video will be uploaded to Wildlife Watch UK every Wednesday at 10am. The channel will feature wildlife experts, home-school help and seasonal species to spot at 

Future videos will include:

• How to build a pond

• Be a garden scientist  – exploring your garden wildlife

• How to identify insects in your garden

• How to make a bug hotel

• What is marine pollution?

• Why birds sing and how to recognise their songs.

Wildlife Trusts across the UK are providing new ways of helping us feel more connected to the wider world and each other, via their online and social channels.

Wildlife experts who are usually leading school visits, events or talking to visitors on reserves have had to down tools and work from home – and so they can now be found online leading wildlife-spotting tours through their gardens, blogging about the life cycle of oil beetles or sharing heart-warming sounds of a dawn chorus on a sunny April morning.

For example:

Follow over 20 webcams from nests and locations around the UK and watch puffins in Alderney, peregrines in Nottingham, bats in Essex and ospreys on their nests

Join Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust’s mini-beast expert Ben Keywood talk about frogspawn and springtime insects from his own garden. Help the Wildlife Trust record sightings of wildlife and follow their advice for helping in your garden.

Daily wildlife diaries from Sussex Wildlife Trust’s Michael Blencowe who talks about the wildlife in his gorgeous garden.

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust is advising people about feeding birds, watching wildlife in the garden and learning how to identify it.

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust is producing a series of videos called Bringing Nature to You. Join education officer Susan Symmonds and hear about the life cycle of an oil beetle.

Go to Surrey Wildlife Trust’s website where you’ll find spotter sheets and activities to help identify local wildlife.

Sign up for Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust’s Wild at Home ideas for regular activities and inspiration to help people stay connected with wildlife.

Keep an eye out for #EverydayWildlife across social media, an outlet to share local wildlife, big, small, grand or often overlooked.

Get guidance on how to create a butterfly haven in our Wild About Gardens campaign with the RHS, by downloading a handy booklet full of inspiration.

Leanne Manchester, wildlife gardener and digital communications manager at The Wildlife Trusts, says: “More people than ever are tuning into our wildlife webcams – more than double the figure for this time last year – and we’re seeing people have a lot of fun wildlife-watching in their gardens.

“Spring has arrived in splendid colour and sound, and over the past few days, hundreds of people have told us that they’ve spotted their first butterflies. These are joyful moments that people hold dear at this difficult time.

“Everyone can share and follow on social media using #EverydayWildlife – swapping such experiences can be a lovely way of keeping in touch.

“Do keep an eye on our channels in the coming weeks – we’ve got lots of lovely ideas and activities to help you stay connected to nature and still feel the health benefits of being outside in your garden or neighbourhood.”

Surrey Wildlife Trust

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Happy anniversary to Surrey Wildlife Trust!

Surrey Wildlife Trust is celebrating its 60th anniversary of protecting the county’s wildlife this week and has a range of events to mark the milestone.

On 21st March, 1959, a band of naturalists and conservationists founded the Surrey Naturalists’ Trust with two goals – to protect wildlife and educate the public about nature – these tenets are still fundamental to the Trust today.

While much work has been carried out over the past 60 years to ensure they have stayed true to this since securing the first reserve in 1960, Seale Chalk Pit on the Hog’s Back to saving the ancient woodland Nower Wood, near Leatherhead to creating a new reserve in 2013 called Priest Hill.

Today the Trust manages more than 70 reserves, has more than 26,000 members and is supported by in excess of 1,000 volunteers who won The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service last year.

2019 marks a new milestone for the Trust with  new chief executive officer Sarah Jane Chimbwandira and a new strategy to reconnect the landscape with nature recovery networks. Healthy and well-managed hedgerows, rivers, nature reserves and green spaces will help people and wildlife flourish.

Sarah Jane said: “If we all take action now, in 60 years’ time wildlife could be thriving and at the heart of everyday life. If not, we may not even notice that wildlife has disappeared from Surrey’s precious landscape, being replaced by litter and pollution.  And all because we think it’s someone else’s job to look after it; it isn’t.

“We all have to take action and we all have to look after Surrey’s landscape like our early founders and volunteers.”

She adds: “We welcome everyone to get involved. Anyone can be the next leading environmentalist in Surrey. Could it be you?”

The Trust has walks, talks and events planned over the next few months to celebrate its 60 years beginning with an environmental youth summit for 16-18 year olds on 28th March.

There’s still time to enter the Wild Surrey art and photographic competition!

Entries must be submitted by 14th April –  an exhibition will then take place in Guildford from 25th May to 14th June during this time on 1st and 2nd June Guildford Goes Wild on the High Street.

Other events to look out for are Bay Pond open day in Godstone on 15th June; heath week from 28th July to 2nd August and rivers week from 22nd to 29th September.

Picture: David Attenborough visits Nower Wood in 1985

For more information about Surrey Wildlife Trust, it’s activities, celebrations and how you can get involved visit