The theme for 2021/2022 was ‘Nature Makes Me Happy’, celebrating the wonders of the natural world and its ability to fill us with joy and inspiration.
This year’s competition tied in with the national park’s ambitious nature recovery programme, called ReNature, and had more than 360 entries.
Fire and Ice, by Jamie Fielding, took the top spot, impressing judges with a photograph of a frosty treescape.
Jamie, from Angmering, said: “Sometimes nature just makes you sit back and say ‘wow’. This was one such morning. There was a beautiful mist shrouding Chanctonbury Ring and, given the sub-zero temperatures, a stunning hoar frost was forming on the trees as well as the ground. As the sun started to rise, the mist began to glow, giving an ethereal, otherworldly feel to the scene. When conditions play out like this, and nature is one your side, it’s hard not to come back from a shoot without a smile on your face.”
The runner-up was A Sparkling Hunt, by Richard Murray, who was able to capture a rare moment of a mother barn owl flying back to her nest with her prey.
Third place was awarded to Taking It In, by Andy Flowerday, who photographed a walker gazing at the spectacle of a mist-filled valley at Devil’s Dyke, near Brighton.
In fourth place was Sing a Song, by Corinne Kozok, who submitted an image of a singing robin.
The judges also highly-commended two images: “Cheesefoot Head In Winter” by Ron De’Ath and “South Downs Summer” by Thomas Moore.
The six winning images, as well as 16 other shortlisted images, have now been put forward for the People’s Choice.
You will be able to vote online from Monday, January 10 for your favourite photograph and the winning photographer will receive £100.
The online poll closes at midnight on January 31.
Visit http://www.southdowns.gov.uk/south-downs-photo-competition-2021-22-peoples-choice-vote/ to cast your vote.
To find out more about the National Park’s nature recovery initiative ReNature, visit www.southdowns.gov.uk/renature/