Photo competition to capture wildlife on their doorstep proves popular
Published: 14 January 2021
Organisers of a photography competition to capture wildlife in the garden have been delighted by a flood of entries.
In just a few days since the competition was launched, Exeter City Council has received 33 entries. People have until the end of the month to send in their images.
Cllr Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Leisure and Physical Activity, said he was over overjoyed by the response.
“The feedback we’ve had has been so fantastic,” he said. “We wanted to create some positivity during ‘lockdown’ – supporting the ‘Stay at Home’ message but giving people something to do during these difficult times.”
A Facebook post on the competition has reached nearly 10,000 people, with 77 shares.
“It’s clearly caught the imagination of the public and it’s great to see the wonderful variety of wildlife that the people of Exeter enjoy in the gardens or backyards,” he added.
The wildlife captured on camera has ranged from the small – spiders, moths, ladybirds and garden birds to much larger mammals like foxes and even deer.
The competition encourages people to take a picture of wildlife in their garden, backyard or doorstep. It is being run in conjunction with Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT), who manage Exeter’s Valley Parks on behalf of the Council. The Trust has kindly donated a book on Wildlife Gardening for the adult winner. The winner of the junior category will receive a book on wildlife also donated by DWT.
The competition is open to everyone in Exeter and supports mental well-being during these difficult times as well as encouraging wildlife into gardens.
Cllr Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Leisure and Physical Activity, said: “Nature is proven to be good for mental wellbeing and we know what everyone is going through during these difficult times.
“Just getting out in the garden and experiencing wildlife on your doorstep can have such a positive effect on people,” he added.
Images can be of birds on feeders or kestrels hovering above. They can capture the first signs of Spring - daffodils emerging from the ground or even a spider spinning a web in the house.
Pictures must be taken at home – in the garden, backyard or even of a spider inside the house. They must be taken in Exeter, ideally during this third national lockdown, and the competition is open to amateur photographers only, not professionals.
There is an adult competition and a junior category for those under the age of 14.
Stephen Hussey of Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “The UK’s gardens cover an area larger than all the nation’s nature reserves put together. This means they are a crucial resource for our wildlife.
“In turn, our gardens are often the place that most of get our closest encounters with nature. Watching birds come to our birdfeeders, seeing bumblebees visit our garden flowers and spotting the movement of frogs in our garden ponds are just some of the highlights which will be familiar to many of us.
“These everyday wildlife experiences are special and a reminder of just how rich in nature our gardens are. We hope entrants to this competition can capture something of this beauty and value,” he added.
People can send their images to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on the City Council’s Facebook page. If the entry is for the junior category it’s important to state the entrants name and age. The deadline for entries is Friday 29 January.