We received some fantastic submissions for the Forest of Bowland photo competition running through November. The images really captured the beauty and opportunities this outstanding area has to offer throughout the year.
The AONB team shortlisted 10 photographers to receive prizes, all donated by businesses in the Forest of Bowland Sustainable Tourism Network, and the public then voted for their favourite images via the Forest of Bowland website. We received nearly 1700 votes with the winning photo receiving over 400, so thanks to everyone for getting involved! The winning photographer – Mark Harder - received two nights at Laythams Holiday Lets Retreats, while the second prize winner Paul Warrilow received £100.00 Individual Inns voucher, kindly donated by the Spread Eagle Inn and the third prize of a bottle of Wild Fox farm-to-bottle signature gin was received by Naomi Barnes.
Winner Mark Harder said: 'I’ve only recently taken up wildlife photography and I’m naturally drawn to this beautiful countryside which I find inspirational and good for the soul. With the recent lockdown, I had found the Forest of Bowland a source of therapy and taking photos of wildlife a way to expressing my artistic side.' While runner-up Paul Warrilow said: 'I really enjoy landscape photography and I am fortunate to be living in such a beautiful area as the Forest of Bowland. The varied landscapes in this area offer some wonderful opportunities to capture nature at her very best and having recently retired I have much more time on my hands to discover the area and take more images. I found out about the competition whilst browsing the Forest of Bowland website - I was looking for ideas as to where I might go to photograph some of its spectacular countryside - and a week or so later we had snowfall on the lovely Pendle Hill and so I went along at dawn to take the
image that was entered for the competition.'
Natalie Barnes, General Manger at the Spread Eagle Inn, Sawley said: 'It is a pleasure to be supporting this competition, The Forest of Bowland is a beautiful area and I am looking forward to seeing the winning photographs'.
Amy and Gavin, Managers at Laythams Holiday Lets Retreats said: 'We're delighted to be able to support Bowland's photo competition, our cottages are located in the heart of the AONB in a beautiful, rural setting where we see the wonder and variety of the changing seasons. The final ten images really capture Bowland at its best from hay making in the summer to Waders returning in the spring and snow-topped fells in the winter!'
The winners of the other prizes were as follows:
Hannah Binns – winner of a virtual cheese tasting voucher, donated by the Courtyard Dairy
David Fish – winner of a Goosnargh Gin gift pack, donated by Goosnargh Gin
Duncan Singleton – winner of afternoon tea for two, donated by Stirk House Hotel
Dave Spellman – winner of a seasonal giftbox, donated by the Rewilding at Patty's Barn
Phillipe Hanford – winner of a £30 voucher for Gisburn Forest Hub, donated by Gisburn Forest Hub Café
Jane Ashall – winner of a Milking Parlour cheese, butter & biscuit hamper, donated by Cobden View Holiday Cottage, Sabden
Janice McCall – winner of a hand knitted scarf and hat, kindly donated by Lancashire Farm Wools.