People are being encouraged to take photographs of ‘Wildlife at Home’ in a fantastic new competition with some great prizes up for grabs.
Exeter City Council has partnered up with Devon Wildlife Trust, who manage Exeter’s Valley Parks on behalf of the Council, to see what wildlife people have in their gardens or backyards across the city.
The competition – which is open to everyone in Exeter (see restrictions below) – supports the government’s ‘Stay at Home’ message in trying to stop the spread of Covid-19, whilst at the same time helps mental well-being and encourages wildlife into gardens.
Cllr Duncan Wood, Lead Councillor for Leisure and Physical Activity, said: “Nature is proven to be good for mental wellbeing and we know what everyone is going through during these difficult times.
“Just getting out in the garden and experiencing wildlife on your doorstep can have such a positive effect on people and that’s why we’re excited with the prospect of seeing people’s photographs,” he added.
Images can be of birds on bird tables – a blue tit on a seed feeder or maybe a predatory sparrowhawk swooping and spoiling the party! They can be of crocuses or snowdrops emerging from the soil as Spring is ushered in, or a peacock butterfly or ladybird sheltering for the winder in a shed, the choice is endless.
Pictures must be taken at home – in the garden, backyard or even of a spider inside the house. They must be taken in Exeter and the competition is open to amateur photographers only, not professionals.
There will be an adult competition and a junior category for those under the age of 14.
First prize for the adults will be a book on Wildlife Gardening kindly donated by Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT). The winner of the junior category will receive a book on wildlife also donated by DWT.
Stephen Hussey of Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “The UK’s gardens cover an area larger than all the nation’s nature reserves put together. This means they are a crucial resource for our wildlife.
“In turn, our gardens are often the place that most of get our closest encounters with nature. Watching birds come to our birdfeeders, seeing bumblebees visit our garden flowers and spotting the movement of frogs in our garden ponds are just some of the highlights which will be familiar to many of us.
“These everyday wildlife experiences are special and a reminder of just how rich in nature our gardens are. We hope entrants to this competition can capture something of this beauty and value,” he added.
People can send their images to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them on the City Council’s Facebook page. The deadline for entries is Friday 29 January.