Farne Islands picture is a competition winner

A picture of the Farne Islands is the winner of a competition to front  next year’s Northumberland Coast visitor guide

The winning image which will be used on the front of the Northumberland Coast visitor guide
The winning image which will be used on the front of the Northumberland Coast visitor guide

An image which combines the religious and wildlife appeal of islands off Northumberland is to be used to promote their magic.

The photograph taken by a visitor to the Farne Islands has been chosen as the front cover image for next year’s Northumberland Coast visitor guide.

Robert Birnie, from Suffolk, captured the shot of an Arctic tern as it flew in front of the window of St Cuthbert’s Chapel on Inner Farne. The image was chosen as the winner of the Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership’s photographic competition and will feature on the cover of 40,000 visitor guides next summer.

John Woodman, chairman of the AONB Partnership, and Andy Craig, a photographer from Christon Bank in Northumberland, were the competition judges.

Andy said “The shot is quite unusual - a sharp contrast between the clean, white, tern and the reflected blue sky in the chapel window is quite striking. I particularly liked this shot because of the setting.

“Arctic terns can be photographed from the Arctic Circle to the South Atlantic but this one is definitely on Inner Farne.”

Mr Birnie said: “The image of the tern against the background of the chapel window reflects how wildlife and history can be experienced together along this wonderful coastline.

“It’s great to think that 40,000 copies of my shot will be reproduced on the cover of the visitor guide and that it will encourage visitors to explore more of the Northumberland coast. I can’t wait to see it in print.”

As well as having his image on the front cover, Mr Birnie will join Andy Craig on a half-day photo-trail along the coast as part of his prize.

The Northumberland Coast visitor guide provides information to about the landscape, history, wildlife and villages of the coast as well as activities for visitors during their stay.

The guide will be published in March and businesses wishing to advertise in the guide should contact the AONB Partnership on 01670 620306 or by email - coastaonb@northumberland.gov.uk.

Ian Cook, from Newcastle, with a photograph of one of the navigation pillars at Guile Point and Stephen Tait, also from Newcastle, with his image of Bamburgh Castle were both highly commended by the judges.


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