Budding snappers win top prizes

Wildlife in the Landscape 1st Storm-blown Redshanks Paul Stamp
Wildlife in the Landscape 1st Storm-blown Redshanks Paul Stamp

Talented photographers from south east Northumberland have been awarded top prizes for their wildlife images.

Keith Cochrane, Tom Pugh, Paul Stamp and Fabien Balezeau have all been awarded prizes in the 2014 North East Wildlife Photography Competition at the special awards ceremony at the Great North Museum in Newcastle.

Fabien Balezeau from North Shields won first prize in thebBotanical category for his poppy picture taken at Leazes Park in Newcastle, while Paul Stamp who lives in Bedlington, won the wildlife in the landscape category with his image of storm-blown redshanks off Cresswell Beach.

Retired roofer, Keith Cochrane’s shot of a cuckoo in flight at Druridge Bay saw him secure the commended prize.

Keith, from Blyth, said: “I was told by friends that there was a cuckoo on the Bay, so I headed there and found it hopping from fence post to fence post.

“You hear cuckoos but it is not often you see one, but this was a young bird which allowed me to get quite close and I feel privileged to have got the shot.”

And Tom Pugh from New Hartley, whose photo of a puffin in flight, taken on the Farne Islands, won him the commended prize in the wildlife in action category.

Mike Pratt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust chief executive, said: “This year’s competition attracted the most entries so far and it is wonderful to think that they reflect the wildlife gems in our region which our organisation works tirelessly to protect.

“I would like to thank all the people who took time to go out and take their photos and enter them and the judges who put time aside to cast their expert eyes over them - not a quick task due to their impressive quality.”

An exhibition of the winning photos is on display at the Great North Museum in Newcastle.