The Mammal Society’s Mammal photographer of the Year 2017 competition winners have been announced this week. Led by TV’s Wildlife film-maker and presenter Simon King, the panel of 4 judges selected the winners from a hugely competitive pool of entries from photographers across the UK, showcasing their talent for photographing some of the UK’s most elusive wildlife species.
This year the top spot of winner in the Mammals of the UK category was claimed by Alastair Marsh from North Yorkshire with this wonderful photo of a pine marten (top), taken on the West coast of Scotland. Alastair said “I was struggling to get photos of them during daylight hours as they seemed very tentative, but fortunately persistence and patience paid off.”
Simon King said “So often we see images of Pine Marten at feeding stations, and whilst this animal might well be on its way to or from such a place, textures in the moss covered tree, the level of soft bokeh and off centre composition make this image especially strong.” Alastair won a conservation holiday in Dorset with Wild Days Conservation.
Runner up in the Mammals of the UK category went to Jenny Hibbert from Bridgend for this photo of a water shrew. Judge Derek Crawley said “It is so difficult to photograph our small mammals. Many people do not realise that we have a mildly venomous swimming mammal in the UK, but this photo does a great job of capturing the water shrew.” Jenny won a two-day mid-week stay with Knepp Wildlife Safaris.
Winner of the Young Photographer of the Year aged 16 to 18 section was Kyle Moore from Suffolk. Kyle said “I love to watch urban foxes. I am always amazed when I observe these spectacular creatures, at how they thrive among busy cities, often without even being noticed. I particularly like this image, as it resembles the urban fox perfectly to me – sticking to the shadows going unnoticed.”
Simon King said “Here the photographer has got down to the level of the animal walking through the streets by night, and captures, using the black and white format, the essence of a foraging urban fox. This image uses the rule of thirds at its very best.” Kyle won a photographer’s hide and vouchers donated by CJ Wildlife.
After an intense week of public voting via social media, Matthew Gould achieved the most votes by a convincing margin and won the prize for Mammal Comedian of the Year with this photo of a red deer stag having a wardrobe malfunction. Matthew won a day of wildlife photography with the Westcountry Wildlife Photography Centre.
Another fantastic winner in the Young photographer of the Year aged 15 and under section was from James Miller from Surrey with this stunning photo of a pipistrelle bat. James said “To photograph the bat’s face I had to find a place where they were flying at eye-level. I chose a woodland tunnel where pipistrelles hunt for insects. Here they fly so close to my face that my hair has been brushed with a wing or two!” Simon King said “ It is hard enough to watch a bat, let alone get a photograph of one in flight in focus. Bravo!” James won a signed copy of Simon’s new book, “Nature Watch.”
Our final winner of the award for Best Mammal Society member was Jochen Langbein from Somerset, with a photo of a red deer stag in velvet. Jochen said “This photo of a free-living Exmoor Stag was taken in a residential garden, which this stag often visits during the spring and summer months. Having observed the stag over many months, he eventually got used to me and I was lucky on this occasion to get within about 30 metres.” Jochen won vouchers donated by NHBS wildlife supplies.
Fiona Mathews, Chair of the Mammal Society and part of the judging team, said “It is fantastic to see such a diversity of entries this year. These images show that you don’t have to be on safari in Africa to see amazing wildlife. From remote corners of Scotland to the middle of cities, wild animals are all around us if we just stop to look. Our Mammal Photographer of the Year competition always provides us with some fantastic images of the mammals that we, as the Mammal Society, work so hard to conserve.”
All winning and shortlisted images, displaying a range of species from grey seals to brown hares, are available to view at the Mammal Society’s Flickr page. A free exhibition of winning and shortlisted photos will be held at the Mammal Society Spring Conference at Robinson College Cambridge on Friday 31st March from 6m onwards, followed by the prize giving and a free talk from Simon King entitled “Nature Watch: How to track and observe wildlife”. Simon will also be selling copies of his new book, also entitled “Nature Watch: How to track and observe wildlife” after his talk.
- The winner of the Mammals of the UK category won a wildlife holiday from Wild Days Conservation. https://wilddaysconservation.org/
- The runner u of the Mammals of the UK category received a 2 day mid week stay at Knepp Wildlife Safaris https://www.kneppsafaris.co.uk/
- The winner of the Young photographer of the Year aged 16 to 18 received a photographer’s hide and £50 of vouchers from CJ Wildlife https://www.birdfood.co.uk/
- The winner of the Young photographer aged 15 and under category received a signed copy of Simon Kings new book, “Nature Watch, how to track and observe wildlife” http://shop-simonkingwildlife.com/
- The winner of Mammal Comedian of the Year received a day of wildlife photography at the Westcountry Wildlife photography Centre http://www.wcwpc.co.uk/
- The winner of best Mammal Society member won £50 of vouchers from NHBS Wildlife supplies http://www.nhbs.com/
- All further images for use with the press release are available from email@example.com All images are copyrighted to the photographers and The Mammal Society.
- The Mammal Society promotes evidence-based conservation. It delivers training courses to professionals and members of the public (www.mammal.org.uk/training/courses); produces good practice conservation and mitigation handbooks and undertakes scientific research to improve conservation. It is currently conducting the official review of the conservation status and population size of British mammals for the English, Scottish and Welsh governments. Its Mammal Atlas, which tracks the change in mammal distribution over the last 20 years, will be published in 2017.
- The Mammal Society’s 63rd Spring conference will be held at Robinson College, Cambridge from the 31st March to the 2nd Aril 217. This year we have a selection of workshops for practitioners, centred around the topics of ecological surveys for bats, and monitoring harvest mice and hedgehogs. More details can be found online at mammal.org.uk/events/the-mammal-society-63rd-spring-conference-agm
For more details or photos contact Charlotte Marshall at 02380010985, 07891495854 or firstname.lastname@example.org