Capturing wildlife scenes during lockdown for Gwent Wildlife Trust’s competition.

George Steven Reed

The lockdown saw more people get closer to nature in their neighbourhoods, and many of these wildlife wonders were beautifully depicted, in the many entries we had for our recent Wildlife From Home competition.

Launched at the start of the lockdown, and supported by our Patron Iolo Williams, our  photography and film competition aimed to get people to connect with nature safely during the Covid-19 restrictions.

Commenting at the time of the competition launch Iolo said: “Wherever you live each and every one of us is only a few feet away from nature in our neighbourhood, whether in the garden, outside our window or in your street. Now more than ever it’s truly a great time to connect with your nature neighbours.”

And many of you clearly felt inspired by Iolo’s words as the standard of entries and range of wildlife captured in local gardens and areas around Gwent, was commended by the our competition judges: Gwent Wildlife Trust Vice-chair, amateur filmmaker and photographer Rob Waller and our Senior Conservation Ecologist and keen photographer Andy Karran.

 Andy said: “It was wonderful to see so many entries from around Gwent capturing the wide range of wildlife in people’s gardens and local areas, that is present in this part of Wales. We saw entries of everything from bees, birds and butterflies, to squirrels and even snakes in a few Gwent gardens."

As the standard of entries was strong the judges shortlisted down to a top 10 for the Wildlife From Home (WFH) Over 18s photography category.

 

The top ten Over 18s Wildlife From Home photography shortlist - in no particular order

  • Who’s Looking at You by John Burns of Newport of moth taken in his garden
  •  Beautiful Demoiselle by Alan Underwood of Abergavenny taken in his garden pond
  • Garden Feeding Time taken by David Jones, in his garden in Caerleon of a Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding its young.
  • Broad Bodied Chaser (dragonfly) taken by Stephen Tyrrell in his garden in Abergavenny
  • Grass Snake with its Tongue out taken by Melissa Stewart in her garden in Tregare, Monmouthshire
  • Frog Hides from Tiny Terror taken by Toby Clement in his garden in Abergavenny
  • A Nosy Robin taken by Jackie Cuff in Cwmbran
  • Squirrel and Dragon taken by Jeremy Myers in his garden in Pontypool
  • The Common Blue (butterfly) taken by Sharon Smith in Abertillery Park.
  • Pied Magic taken by George Steven Reed in his garden in Newport.

 

Over 18s Photography winner

After much deliberation the judges chose the Over 18s winner as ‘Pied Magic’ by George Steven Reed from Newport.

The judges felt this striking image of Pied Wagtail, photographed in a garden in Newport mid-flight with a mealworm in its beak, really captured the Wildlife From Home concept of nature and people connecting.

 

WFH home competition shortlisted entry Pied Magic by George Steven Reed

George Steven Reed

The Over 18 WFH photography competition winning entry - Pied Magic by George Steven Reed.

The Under 18s Wildlife From Home photography shortlist - in no particular order

  • Yellow Bee on Purple Vetch by Sean Crabbe aged 17.
  • Larvae on Rose bush by Ramona Broadhead-Collins aged 5.

Under 18s photography winner

In the Under 18s category the judges’ winning entry was: “Yellow Bee on Purple Vetch” taken by Sean Crabbe aged 17, of Caldicot. The photo was taken on the road near the Hay Meadow at Gwent Wildlife Trust's Magor Marsh nature reserve.

Yellow Bee on Purple Vetch by Sean Crabbe aged 17

Sean Crabbe

The Wildlife From Home competition Under 18 winning entry Yellow Bee on Purple Vetch by Sean Crabbe aged 17.

Nicola Perkins

Video winner

The Wildlife from Home winning video entry came from Nicola Perkins for her beautiful short film called ‘Nuthatch feeding chicks’ which was taken in her garden in Pontypool.

Judge's comments

Wildlife From Home competition judge Rob Waller said: “We commend all the entries to the competition and congratulate our winners.

“We hope people have been truly inspired by connecting with their nature neighbours during the lockdown and through our competition. Now with Covid-19 restrictions lifted we invite people to venture further afield to safely visit some of Gwent Wildlife Trust’s amazing nature reserves, to discover even more of Gwent’s wildlife wonders.”

Shortlisted Photo Entries

Well done winners!

The overall Wildlife From Home winners: George Steven Reed, Sean Crabbe, and Nicola Perkins each get a certificate, a copy of British Birds - A Pocket Guide (pictured) as well as some Gwent Wildlife Trust related goodies. Gwent Wildlife Trust will be in touch with them directly.

British Birds a Pocket Guide cover