Natural Beauty in the Frame in AONB Photography Competition

 Amateur photographers, young and old, from across Newry, Mourne and Down are invited to take part in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Competition 2020.

The Ring of Gullion, Mourne Mountains and Strangford Lough and Lecale Landscape Partnerships, which manage the district’s three AONBs, are asking local photographers to submit their digital photographs under the theme, ‘My Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ by Wednesday 30 September, to be in with a chance of winning a cash prize.

The Under 14 winner: Robin from Emily Torrens.
The Under 14 winner: Robin from Emily Torrens.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “We are blessed that we hold AONB status for three stunning locations within our district. This fantastic amateur photography competition is a great way to showcase their beauty as well as the skills of our local amateur photographers.

“Whether you are in the Ring of Gullion, Mournes or Strangford and Lecale AONB’s, the judges want to see your interpretation of ‘My Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ right from your doorstep. This could be your interpretation of the beauty of the countryside or a beautiful aspect of a creature that lives within it – or perhaps the first signs of Spring or Summer wildlife  in your garden or local park. As long as your photographs capture the theme’s essence, then you’re in with a chance.

The Over 14 winner: Newcastle to the Mournes from Allan Davies.
The Over 14 winner: Newcastle to the Mournes from Allan Davies.

Chairperson, Cllr Laura Devlin continued, “You don’t have to venture far to find wild birds to photograph – your back garden is a great place to start. Set up a bird feeder out of reach of cats and give local birds a few weeks to get used to it, placing food out regularly. Alternatively, scope out nearby woodland or your local park. You could even try taking photos from your window if you are lucky enough to live in any of our AONBs.”

A 1st prize of £100 for over 14’s and £25 for under 14’s is up for grabs, which is hoped will attract a large number of entrants and help the AONB teams to promote the importance of the areas’ heritage. The top 13 entrants will also feature in the 2021 AONB calendar, which is always highly sought after. 

Teachers and parents are encouraged to get children out and about with their cameras before the deadline and entries should feature landscape photographs or wild or farm animals in a natural setting. Pictures of pets, zoo animals or wildlife in captivity are not ineligible and only photos taken in the AONBs will be accepted. To find built, cultural or natural heritage inspiration, why not visit the three Landscape Partnerships’ websites WWW.RINGOFGULLION.ORG,, WWW.STRANGFORDLOUGH.ORG

It is simple to enter the competition, go to WWW.RINGOFGULLION.ORG and click on ‘Competitions’ at the top of the page. 

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