Stunning images of a misty sunrise and a hungry hare are among winners in the South Downs National Park’s annual photo competition.
Andrew Gambling from Storrington won the main category with Into the Mistic, capturing a jogger in the mist-covered hills near Amberley Mount, and Adam Huttly from Littlehampton won the wildlife category with Hare in Wildflower Margin, taken just north of Arundel.
There were more than 170 entries capturing scenes across the National Park and the top ten, five winning images and five highly-commended photos, now compete for a £100 prize in the People’s Choice vote.
The theme was ‘experiencing the natural world’ and judges said Andrew’s breathtaking composition of a misty scene in front of Houghton Hill met the brief perfectly.
Andrew, who won £250, said: “The sun had risen but was diffused by the mist, creating a ‘jaw’ around the sun for a few seconds, displaying the different levels of mist in the valley, just as a runner ran down the South Downs Way to disappear into it.
“I am incredibly honoured and slightly humbled to have won. I find there is nothing better, on so many levels, to be out in the South Downs National Park as it wakes from its slumber on a misty morning with the camera on a tripod, and a freshly boiled cuppa in hand, trying to capture the essence of this very special place. I hope this picture, and many others that I look forward to sharing in the future, make people feel the same.”
Adam won £100 for his adorable picture of a hare munching on leaves in a colourful blanket of wildflowers.
Adam said: “I really hope this image encourages people to get out and discover the wonders of nature that can be found on the magical South Downs and surrounding areas.
“It also highlights the great work the farmers do by leaving margins and wildflower borders. So many people work very hard to protect our green space and the precious wildlife that need this space to survive and flourish.”
Mark Couper from Cosham was runner-up in the main category with Stedham Common Sunrise, an image of the heathland near Midhurst, and Lloyd Lane from Brighton was third with Take Flight, a misty scene taken at Steyning Bowl at first light.
Runner-up in the wildlife category was Dick Hawkes with Surprised Water Vole, taken as the creature appeared from a burrow on the River Meon.
The highly-commended photos are Pony Heaven by Joe James, The Mindful Walker by Gary Hider, The Theory of Everything by Ismail Mungul, Female Chalkhill Blue Heading to Roost by Thomas Moore, and Startled Skylark by Sara Humphrey.
Vote for your favourite by January 31 at www.southdowns.gov.uk/PeoplesChoice2020