Photo Competition Winners Announced!

13th December 2021

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.

Winning image by Mark Harder - Short Eared OwlThe 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.'

Second prize - Paul Warrilow - Wintry Pendle

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

Third prize - Naomi Barnes - 'I think we're being followed'

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.

Hannah Binns - 2 likley ladsDavid Fish - View over Mellor Knoll

Duncan Singleton - sunrise over Hodder Bank Fell

Dave Spellman - Autumn Landscape

Phillipe Hanford - Curlew with Pendle backdropJane Ashall - cutting silage on a summer's evening

Janice McCall - Stocks at Dusk