A budding photographer has been named a runner-up in a competition by capturing nature at its best at Blicking Hall.

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Philip Carpenter, of Norwich, was awarded the runner-up prize in the first visitwoods.org.uk photography competition - run on the Woodland Trust’s VisitWoods website.

Mr Carpenter’s photo of a barn owl amongst bluebells on the Blickling Estate was selected from over 6,000 entries by naturalist, cameraman and presenter Simon King.

The competition was set up to encourage members of the public to add photos of over 11,000 woods which are held on the online woodland database.

Of Mr Carpenter’s entry, Mr King said: “The chance of a wild encounter is one of the great thrills of walking in woodland and what better brush with nature than a barn owl in a bluebell wood. The portrait gives the viewer a real sense of sharing the photographer’s experience with soft foreground and harmonious balance.”

Mr Carpenter said: “I often visit Blickling in spring to photograph the bluebells that flower en masse in the great wood. Normally the carpet of blue is a spectacle in itself but seeing a barn owl hunting silently in the morning light was a sight to saviour. Once the owl perched I took the opportunity to photograph it.”

The other runners up were Ashley Chaplin from Waterlooville for his photo of wild garlic in Wildhams Wood and Heather Buckley from Brighton for a photo of her dog Filby in Stanmer Park.

The winner was Mike Stephenson from Cambourne in Cambridgeshire with his photo of an early morning at Westonbirt Arboretum.

The creation of the VisitWoods website has been made possible by funding of £1.2m from Natural England’s Access to Nature scheme, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, with further support coming from Yell and DoubleTree by Hilton.

● For more information visit VisitWoods.org.uk.

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