Hill Life Through a Lens Photography Competition

Competition update due to Covid-19

If you can visit the uplands within social distancing guidelines and in line with current Welsh Government Covid-19 rulings, we'd love you to see the images you take of these amazing places entered into our "Hill Life Through a Lens" photography competition.

We’ve a number of great prizes on offer including a stay at our Pentwyn Farm Holiday Cottage and wildlife ID books, as well as a whole host of others goodies.

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions which were in place at the start of the year we have extended the deadline for entries for our Hill Life Through a Lens photography competition until May 31st 2021.

Before your visit – why not spend time researching and planning your photographic trip by discovering more about the uplands and its amazing wildlife by reading this feature.


Competition Categories

First choose from these three categories:
Under 16,
Over 16,
Mobile Phone. 

Enter your photo into one of three themes:

  •  Hillside Wildlife and Landscapes Through the Seasons;
  • The High Life – People Living and Working in the Uplands;
  •  Post Industrial Wilderness – When Nature Returns.

There will be a top place winner in each category as well as spot prize winners chosen by the panel of judges.

Send your entries to photocomp@gwentwildlife.org

And if you have any questions or queries about our competition, please call our office on 01600 740600 or email info@gwentwildlife.org

Uplands are teeming with life and provide a vital habitat for all kinds of wildlife including Skylark, Red Kite and waxcap fungi. I urge people to get involved in Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Hill Life Through a Lens photography competition because there really is so much to see and photograph if you get out on our amazing Gwent uplands.”

Naturalist Iolo Williams
Patron Gwent Wildlife Trust
Skylark by Andy Karran

Andy Karran

There is lots of wildlife to see and photograph on our Uplands/hillsides in Gwent including birds such as this Skylark (pictured)

The South East Wales Resilient Uplands Project

Our Hill Life Through a Lens competition forms part of the South East Wales Resilient Uplands project (SEWRU) a 3-year (2018-2021) collaborative project, led by Torfaen Council, and involving Gwent Wildlife Trust, Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent Councils, Natural Resources Wales, police, fire and rescue Services and the Brecon Beacons National Park.  The SEWRU project covers an area of some 200sq km, on land which is over 200m in altitude within Torfaen, Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent. 

Courses and events

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions our Resilient Upland courses and events are currently postponed – we will update you further on our plans once we are able to.

Hill Life Through a Lens competition rules


Terms & Conditions

1. One single photograph entry per person.

2. The competition is open to GWT members and non-members alike.

3. The photograph must have been taken within the South East Wales Resilient Uplands project area – namely on land which is over 200m in altitude within Torfaen, Caerphilly and Blaenau Gwent.  Please see the areas covered in green and red on the attached SEWRU map below.

4. The photograph can have been taken at any time between February 2020 and May 31, 2021.

5. Photographs can be submitted on any wildlife or nature related theme in the categories and themes listed below Please specify which category and theme you are entering.

6. The categories are: a) Under 16s (the photographer must be 15 on  May  31, 2021); b) 16s and over. c) Photographs taken on any mobile phone.

7. The themes are: Hillside Wildlife and Landscapes Through the Seasons; The High Life –People Living and Working in the Uplands; and Post Industrial Wilderness – When Nature Returns.

8. Entries will only be received electronically at photocomp@gwentwildlife.org – if your file is larger than 4MB, please use a file transfer website such as https://wetransfer.com/ to send the file.

9. Entries will only be accepted between February 2020 and May 31, 2021.

10. Entries must be accompanied by your full name, address, contact email address and phone number, your date of birth if under 16, a caption, the  exact location of the photograph and the category and theme that you are entering.

11. Entries can only be accepted under an individual’s name.

12. Under no circumstances should any wildlife be disturbed in order to take the shots. Extra care should be taken during breeding seasons. If our judges consider it likely that any animal has been disturbed, harassed, traumatised, hurt or injured in the process of you getting your picture, it will be disqualified from the competition for the year.

13. We will only allow changing contrast, tone, colour saturation, sharpness, removal of dust spots etc. Use of multiple exposure techniques will be permitted, providing it is done in-camera and not post-production.

14. Prior permission from the owner must be sought for any photographs taken on private land. This does not apply to any Gwent Wildlife Trust reserves.

15. Permission and written consent must be obtained from any recognisable person featured in the photograph (consent to be included with the entry).

16. By submitting the photograph, you confirm that you are the copyright holder and creator of that image and that you will be responsible for any claims by any third party.

17. Copyright will remain with the photographer. However, by entering this competition, the photographer agrees to Gwent Wildlife Trust and South East Wales Resilient Uplands (SEWRU) partner organisations to:

a) Using the image for exhibitions, publications or promotional uses not for commercial gain.

b) Permitting Gwent Wildlife Trust to make images freely available to other individuals and organisations not for commercial gain.

18. The Judges’ decision is final.

19. Short listed candidates (only) will be notified in June 2021.

20. The winners will be announced  at the end of June 2021.


Gwent Wildlife Trust's SEWRU Life Through a Lens Photography competition map

South East Wales Resilient Uplands (SEWRU) project logo
Welsh Government European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development logo

Our competition is part of the South East Wales Resilient Uplands project (SEWRU)  from February 2020 until May 31, 2021. It will be judged by three brilliant photographers: Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Vice chair Rob Waller, Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Senior Conservation Ecologist Andy Karran and ecologist, wildlife photographer and Gwent Wildlife Trust Vice President Chris Hatch.

Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscape Manager Natalie Waller said, “As a partner within South East Wales Resilient Uplands project, Gwent Wildlife Trust are helping deliver a number of activities, including our photography competition, to help promote the uplands as a sustainable area and as an important place to visit for tourism and recreation.

“Gwent Wildlife Trust’s Ebbw Vale office is based in the heart of the uplands and we work closely with local people and wildlife. Our aim is to showcase the uplands and also raise awareness both locally and nationally of the area, as a valuable and rewarding place in which to work, play, visit and live.”