Helston Climate Action Group has launched a competition to find the best photographs of nature and wildlife – and it could win you a hamper worth over £150 or a visit to Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary in Hayle.

Spring is in the air, and following a year of lockdown the group has launched wildlife photography competition to help them track how effective their nature restoration project has been over the last year.

The competition, which launches today (Wednesday, March 24), has categories for both adults aged 16 and over and children age 15 and under.

It is seeking entries of the best photographs taken over the last year of wildlife in and around the Helston area.

Competition judges include award-winning wildlife photographer David Chapman and Helston’s mayor John Martin, who as well as being vice chair of the Helston Climate Action Group (HCAG) is also a professional photographer himself.

John said: “We have several projects running as part of our environmental work. One of these is our nature restoration work. As part of this project, we have been working to improve wildlife habitats in and around Helston, for example, by improving green spaces and encouraging nature friendly gardening.

"We felt that a photography competition where people in the local community can share images of wildlife captured over the last year would help to raise awareness of the project and the wonderful array of animals, birds and insects which surround us.

"In addition, the competition will also help us to get some good visual records of the variety of wildlife in and around the town.”

The overall winner of the adult category will receive a luxury food hamper, filled with goods from local producers who are part of another HCAG project, Helston Local Food Hub, which supports local food producers and allows the local community to buy fresh and seasonal local produce on a weekly basis via an online ordering and local collection service.

The hamper is worth over £150 and contains a range of local produce including cheeses, sausages, condiments and vegetables as well as a set of Coastal Collection soaps and Almond & Cocoa Butter Body Lotion from Organic Trevarno.

The winner of the children’s competition will win a ticket for an adult and child to visit Paradise Park Wildlife Sanctuary in Hayle over the summer, worth over £30, so they can enjoy looking at a wonderful range of animals as well as practise their photography skills if they wish.

Runners up in each category will receive certificates to announce their achievements.

“What we are looking for is something which stands out from the crowd,” said David Chapman. “This might include an image with a striking use of light, but we will also keep an eye out for good compositions and technical strengths.

"For example, if the subject is meant to be sharp, with good clarity of detail, then it should be sharp. Having said that I also like to see movement in an image and this can be portrayed in many ways so creativity and originality are important.”

He added: “We’re really looking forward to seeing all the wildlife that people have captured on camera. We live in such a vibrant, varied and fascinating place bursting with nature.

"Every time I hear of people finding a new connection with wildlife in their local area as a result of lockdown it has given me immense hope for the future. Let’s hope that our new-found passion can provide the motivation we need to make our wild places even better.”

To submit an entry to the Helston Spring Wildlife Competition email your photograph to comp@helstonclimateaction.earth

Please include:

- Your name and contact email address / phone number

- Age on March 23, 2021

- Date and location the photograph was taken

- For entries from individuals who are under the age of 16 please ensure that a parent or guardian supplies contact information and confirms permission for the individual to enter the competition.

You can find full terms and conditions for the competition at www.helstonclimateaction.earth

The deadline for the competition is midnight on April 7, 2021.

Images must have been taken taken in Helston and the surrounding area between March 31, 2020 and April 7, 2021.

Images must be at least 2MB in size.

By entering you agree to the competition Terms and Conditions which can be found at helstonclimate.earth/photography_competition

To find out more about Helston Climate Action Group and how you can get involved in their work visit www.helstonclimateaction.earth