A striking image of a wild waterway is the first winner of a photography competition which aims to encourage people to explore the Northumbrian landscape.
The competition is a joint initiative between The Sill partnership of Northumberland National Park Authority and YHA (England and Wales) and award-winning wildlife photographer and film maker Cain Scrimgeour, from Whitley Bay.
The contest is closely tied to the aims of The Sill, the planned £11.2m National Landscape Discovery Centre at Hadian’s Wall, which aims to become a centre for exploration and discovery for Northumberland National Park and landscapes beyond.
Almost 100 entries were submitted with the overall winner being Martin Ellis, from Gateshead, with his image of Usway Burn in Upper Coquetdale.
Cain said: “This competition has provided people with the opportunity to explore what Northumberland National Park has to offer, an experience that will be greatly heightened with the addition of The Sill which aims to open up the landscape to people.
“It was inspiring to see the entries spanning across Northumberland, from dawn to dusk and into the night, in all weathers, capturing the beauty of our stunning county. I am proud to be involved in a project like this and I have been overwhelmed at the quality of images submitted which are to a very high standard.
“The winning photographers have really taken on board the essence of the competition brief and have immersed themselves in the rare beauty that Northumberland has to offer.
“It was so difficult to select the winners as each and every one of the entries was worthy of credit and all those who entered should be very proud of the stunning images they have produced.”
Martin, 52, said: “I am really pleased that my photograph has been picked as the winner out of all the many wonderful images submitted. I do love this part of Northumberland, it never fails to put a smile on my face even when it’s raining or blowing a gale, as it so often does.
“Seeing Batailshiel Haugh and the Usway Burn bathed in the late evening sun was something special, just a brief moment. Thanks to The Sill photography competition, I’m really pleased for the opportunity to show how beautiful Northumberland is.”
The runners up were Philip Whittaker and Anita Nicholson, who both took pictures on Hadrian’s Wall.
Stuart Evans, The Sill Project Director, said: “This competition encapsulates everything that The Sill stands for - inspiring people to visit and learn about the Northumberland National Park.
“The standard of the entries was exceptional and I know the judges struggled to pick out the winners among a bank of such stunning images. I want to thank everyone for taking the time to enter and to extend my personal congratulations to the winners.
“Due to the success of this competition and the generosity of our sponsors we are making this an ongoing competition that will offer photographers the opportunity to submit pictures for each season. “All the images submitted throughout the entirety of the competition will be used to raise the profile of The Sill and will help us on our journey to raise £3.7m of funding to help make the project a reality.”
Photographers are now being asked to submit their spring-inspired images for the next phase of the competition, which is open to all ages and experience levels.