The RSPB is calling on people to take part in a photography competition capturing the beauty of the South Downs National Park.
The contest is looking for submissions in four categories located in and around the South Downs: landscapes, wildlife, urban wildlife and families enjoying the South Downs.
The South Downs National Park stretches 100 miles from Winchester in Hampshire to Eastbourne in East Sussex, including rolling chalk downland, farmland, internationally rare heathland, ancient woodland and wetlands.
South Downs Futurescape community engagement officer Rachel Whitfield said: “Each of these special spaces plays host to a vast array of plants and animals, uniquely adapted to their habitats, which change from spring to summer, autumn to winter.
“People might think that winter is a barren time for wildlife in the South Downs, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
“Look out for winter flocks of redwings, fieldfares, finches and buntings or keep your eyes peeled for short-eared owls, wintering geese and elusive woodpeckers.
“On ground level you might pick up the tracks of badgers and foxes.”
The RSPB has designated the area as an RSPB Futurescape in order to help protect the landscape and wildlife of the South Downs and to encourage people to enjoy it in a responsible way.
Due to pressures from development, climate change, population growth and a push towards agricultural intensification, it said the countryside was at risk of becoming fragmented and our wildlife lost to us.
Futurescapes are the RSPB’s response and a way of promoting increased conservation action on a landscape scale through local communities and partnerships.
The judges will include local and international wildlife photographer David Plummer and local landscape photographer John Dominick.
Not only will you get a chance to showcase your talents but you will also be helping to raise vital funds to Give Nature a Home in the South Downs.
The competition is free to enter, but you’ll be given the option to donate to RSPB conservation work through the JustGiving page.
The competition runs from 28 October 2013 to 28 February 2014. To find out more and submit your photos, visit: rspb.org.uk/futurescapes/southdowns
All submissions will be posted and available for viewing on the RSPB South Downs Futurescape Flickr photo gallery at flickr.com/photos/rspbsouthdowns