A curlew framed against a stunning sunset has landed the top prize in a photography competition which celebrates Northumberland’s outstanding landscapes.
The Sill, a partnership between Northumberland National Park Authority and the Youth Hostels Association to create a landscape discovery centre in the Hadrian’s Wall area, launched the competition last year in a bid to encourage people to explore the county’s countryside all year round.
Almost 100 images were entered and the winner was Ian Glendinning, from Holystone near Rothbury, with his entry of a curlew silhouetted against the sunset in the Coquet Valley.
The curlew is used as the logo for Northumberland National Park.
The joint runners-up were Craig Richards, from Chester-le-Street in County Durham, with his image “Milky Way over Holy Island” and Mike Ridley of Belmont in Durham with his two Hadrian’s Wall photographs ‘International space station flying over at Sycamore Gap’ and ‘Full moon over Cawfields quarry.’
Ian, a 57-year-old retired police officer, said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been selected as the winner of the competition.
“Northumberland National Park is a fantastic place to take photographs, with a wide variety of landscape and wildlife opportunities.
“This photograph was captured when I saw the curlew from quite a distance away, and I had to crawl a long way through some very wet ground to get the picture. I’m pleased that I made the effort.”
One of the competition judges, wildlife photographer Cain Scrimgeour from Whitley Bay, said: “It was brilliant to see a large variety of entries from every stretch of Northumberland, celebrating the beauty of the wildlife, landscapes, landmarks and dark skies.”
Fellow judge Jude Leitch, from Northumberland Tourism, said: “The variety of Northumberland’s spectacular landscapes always amazes and this was amply demonstrated by all the entries in the Sill’s photography competition.
“The county’s wild and rugged side as well as its softer, tranquil beauty were presented often in surprising and creative ways. All the entrants should be congratulated on the way their shots highlighted the uniqueness of our outdoors.”
The competition echoes the aims of the Sill, the national park’s planned £14.2m project which aims to help more people explore, learn and be inspired by the landscape.
The project was recently awarded a £7.8m grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund. If the remaining funds are successfully raised, the Sill’s activity programme will launch later this year, with the centre due to open in 2017.
Stuart Evans, The Sill project director, said: “The Sill aims to open the door to the countryside and this competition has done just that. It’s fantastic to see these images which show how truly lucky we are to have such beautiful countryside on our doorstep no matter what time of year.
“All the entries capture the essence of Northumberland National Park and other special Northumbrian landscapes so I want to thank everyone who shared their images with us throughout the competition.”