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Winners pick up prizes in tree photography competition

Published: 1 December 2023

Winners pick up prizes in tree photography competition Oliver Necesito & Cllr Ruth Williams, Lead Councillor for Place and City Management

The winners and runners-ups in a tree photography competition that attracted more than 70 entries have been awarded their prizes.

In the end it was Oliver Necesito’s striking image of stars shining through the branches of a mature tree in an Exeter park that was declared the winner of Exeter City Council’s Tree Photography Competition for 2023.

Cllr Ruth Williams, Lead Councillor for Place and City Management, was on hand to present Oliver with his prize of a framed photograph of his image, along with a Haynes Tree Manual.

Oliver revealed his love for photography and how he had mounted his iPhone on a small tripod to capture the night-time shot with a five-second exposure.

The competition is held every year in the run-up to National Tree Week (26 November to 4 December), inviting people to take a picture of their favourite tree in Exeter.

Prizes for the competition were kindly donated by the City Council’s arboricultural contractors, Devon Trees Services.

A close second was Rob Geare’s delayed exposure shot of a tree in the middle of a busy road junction at the bottom of Fore Street. Rob receives a framed photograph of his image.

In the Junior section, eight-year-old Raef Harvey wowed judges with his beautiful image of a young girl hugging a giant oak tree in Rougemont Gardens. Raef wins a framed photograph of his image and a Haynes Tree Manual.

Runner up in the junior section was 12-year-old Austin Lake for his shot of a tree on the Cathedral Green starting to change colour. He also wins a framed photograph of his image.   

Junior Winners

Cllr Williams, who was one of the judges for the competition described the standard of entries as “remarkable”.

“It was a considerable challenge coming up with the winning images from over 70 submitted. In the end choosing the winners and runners up was down to those images that left an indelible mark on my memory well after I viewed them. Congratulations and thanks to everyone who submitted an entry.”

National Tree Week is the UK’s largest annual tree celebration, marking the start of the winter tree planting season (November to March each year). This year it will take place from 25 November to 3 December. Further information about national events can be found on the Tree Council website at

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