Bringing the Long Man into the 21st century

The Downs Past and Present
The Downs Past and Present

A witty photograph which compares the Long Man of Wilmington with a modern hiker has been chosen as the winner of the South Downs National Park’s ‘Life in the Landscapes’ photography competition.

The picture, by Joan Barham, beat more than 100 other entries to win first prize, which includes £150 in photography vouchers, a year’s subscription to Outdoor Photography magazine and a day of landscape photography training.

Comedian and actor Hugh Dennis, who lives in the South Downs National Park and helped to judge the competition, said: “In this remarkably contemporary photo Joan has managed to capture two stories – not just one of the people out exploring the South Downs National Park today but also of the people who’ve shaped it in the past.”

Nick Heasman, Western Area Manager for the National Park and also a competition judge, said: “I love the way the hiker’s walking poles mirror the staffs held by the Long Man. This picture takes a cultural icon and brings it bang into the 21st century in a photo that could only have been taken in the National Park and that’s what makes it a winner.”

Joan, from Barnham, said: “It’s so exciting to have won the competition, I’m a keen walker and love visiting the Long Man of Wilmington as he’s such a well known character in this part of the National Park. I went out with a really clear idea in my mind about the hiker echoing the Long Man’s pose and I’m grateful to my husband who patiently agreed to be my model.”

Highly commended were: Point to Point by Andy Jackson, an ethereal scene of horse riders on Firle Beacon; An Avenue of Horse Daisies by John Wigley, and Looking to Lewes by James Ringland, capturing fantastic light, colours and textures on the fields.