Into the Mistic by Andrew Gambling - Winner of South Downs National Park Photo Competition

Winners of South Downs National Park photo competition announced

A mystical landscape, a hungry hare and a charming water vole feature in winning photos shot within the South Downs National Park

The South Downs National Park’s Photo Competition has announced its winners for 2020. The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Experiencing the Natural World’ and over 170 photos were entered.

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Into the Mistic by Andrew Gambling - Winner of South Downs National Park Photo Competition
Into the Mistic by Andrew Gambling

Andrew Gambling took first place with his shot ‘Into The Mistic’ which showed a man on his morning run amongst the mist-covered hills of the South Downs. Judges thought his photograph met the competition’s brief perfectly. Judge Finn Hopson said: ‘This image is the embodiment of experiencing the natural world.’ Fellow judge Nick Heasman said: ‘It feels otherworldly.’

Stedham Common Sunrise by Mark Couper - RUNNER UP
Stedham Common Sunrise by Mark Couper

The runner-up was Mark Couper for his photo ‘Stedham Common Sunrise’ which captured the incredible variety of colours and textures within the heathland of the National Park.

Take Flight by Lloyd Lane
Take Flight by Lloyd Lane

Third place was awarded to ‘Take Flight’ by Lloyd Lane, which was another striking misty scene taken at Steyning Bowl.

Hare in wildflower margin by Adam Huttly - wildlife WINNER
Hare in Wildflower Margin by Adam Huttly

There was a separate category for best wildlife image, with first-place awarded to ‘Hare in Wildflower Margin’, which shows a hungry hare munching on a leaf in a meadow of wildflowers. Taken by Adam Huttly just north of Arundel, the photographer said: ‘I really hope this image encourages people to get out and discover the wonders of nature that can be found on the magical South Downs and surrounding areas.’

Surprised Water Vole by Dick Hawes
Surprised Water Vole by Dick Hawes

The runner up for best wildlife image went to Dick Hawes for his adorable shot of a water vole. ‘Surprised Water Vole’ was taken at River Meon in the middle of East Meon, Hampshire.

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Which is your favourite? The five winning images, along with five highly-commended photos, have now been entered into a People’s Choice vote – choose your favourite by 31 January here.