The wonders of the natural world will be brought into sharp focus this month when the British Wildlife Photography Awards (BWPA) exhibition opens at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood.

Featuring stunning images from across the country, this year’s exhibition reveals moments of natural glory in both town and country captured forever by some exceptional photography.

The images were selected from thousands of entries and raise awareness about biodiversity, British species and their habitats. Alongside amazing close-ups, incredible underwater images and revealing habitat shots, the overall winning image is the perfect reminder that wildlife can be found in the most ordinary of places.

Highlighting the wildlife benefits of an urban environment Daniel Trim’s photograph of Heathrow Roostings shows a pied wagtail silhouetted by the lights of the airport’s Terminal 5.

Daniel said: “Urban pied wagtail roosts are incredibly important for the birds’ survival during these harder times, both for the additional warmth our buildings generate, but also because there’s safety in numbers. I spent time looking for birds I could isolate against interesting background lighting.

“The birds soon tuck their heads under their wing to sleep, so you have to get lucky with one waking up briefly to have a look around.”

Seven local images, from Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire were highly commended in this year’s awards, including two taken by Wimborne-based Robin Goodlad.

In the Portraits category his Ring in Bright Water captures an otter making a perfect circle in the water, whilst his second image, Ethereal Dawn is in the Wildwoods category and shows a carpet of wild garlic in Dorset woodland.

Robin said: “I have always been fascinated by otters, and whilst you can see them much more regularly on the rivers of Dorset, it is much more difficult to observe their magical underwater behaviour, and what phenomenally agile creatures they are.

“Whilst photographed in captivity, this was still not an easy photograph to achieve. Good timing was key to capturing that brief moment when he came in for a perfect circle, and to me this extraordinary behaviour is what makes the photo for me – a ring in bright water.”

Moors Valley is the only location on the south coast to host the BWPA national touring exhibition. Recently announced as Dorset’s best large attraction in the Dorset Tourism Awards, one of the Park’s core objectives is to provide opportunities for visitors of all ages to experience, understand and learn about the Moors Valley’s wildlife and wider environmental issues. It is one of the best places in the UK for dragonflies and home to all six species of British reptile as well as a highly successful water vole reintroduction programme.

Communication ranger Katie Daviessaid: “With its 15 categories, the BWPA exhibition showcases the amazing diversity of British wildlife. We hope it will prove an inspiration to everyone who sees it to take a moment to stop and enjoy the visual splendour of the natural world that surrounds them.”

Paul Colley’s Urban Art Deco and Water Birds at Dawn, (Mute swan), Wiltshire, was highly commended in the Urban Wildlife category Wimborne photographer Robin Goodlad’s Ring in Bright Water was highly commended in the Animal Portraits category.

The British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition opens daily in the Visitor Centre and Ranger Den at Moors Valley Country Park from January 20 to March 4. The exhibition is free to view, but parking charges apply at the park.

Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, near Ringwood.

T: 01425 470721


The 2018 British Wildlife Photography Awards open for entries in early February.