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Stunning shot of birds on the Broads shortlisted in national photography competition

The Broads. Picture: Helen Storer

The Broads. Picture: Helen Storer

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This stunning shot of dozens of birds breaking the serenity of waters over the Broads has been shortlisted in a national photography competition.

Peak District National Park. Picture: Keiran MetcalfePeak District National Park. Picture: Keiran Metcalfe

Helen Storer took the snap while walking her dog on a cold and calm misty morning.

It has now been shortlisted in the UK National Parks and Campaign for National Parks’ joint photography competition to celebrate the 70th anniversary of National Parks in the UK.

Around the theme of a ‘Moment in time’, this competition is 70 years since the 1949 Act of Parliament that began the family of National Parks in the UK, that today includes beloved landscapes such as the Peak District, Brecon Beacons and Loch Lomond.

Writing about her entry, Helen Storer said: “Being by the waters edge can be a quiet and solitary place and offers the opportunity for thought and contemplation. I don’t look for anything specific when I go out with my camera. I wait for something to take my interest - an idea to filter through - and then I set to work.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Picture: Thomas BrownPembrokeshire Coast National Park. Picture: Thomas Brown

“I think my photography is more about my imagination so I am really only constrained by the ideas in my head. Walking around or sitting quietly in a location is the best way I know to help generate those ideas.

“I was out early one very cold misty morning walking with my dog when I heard in the silence of the mist lots of what sounded like splashing in the water.

“I silently stood still, holding my breath, knowing that something special was coming towards me. After what felt like eternity, there they were! What had sounded like hundreds of birds where now darting down into the rippled water or taking flight.

“It was literally all over in less than five seconds but with my camera in hand I knew, I felt, I had caught something I had never experience before and I possibly will never do so again.”

Exmoor National Park. Picture: Shaun DaveyExmoor National Park. Picture: Shaun Davey

The winning shot, from graphic designer Kieran Metcalfe, depicts a Tolkein-esque landscape in the Peak District National Park.

Almost 1,500 pictures were submitted to the competition by people via social media, sharing moments when they were out exploring the incredible heritage sites, wildlife and landscapes of the UK’s 15 National Parks.

Andrew Hall of Campaign for National Parks, the national charity dedicated to the English and Welsh National Parks, said: “All the photographers have done an incredible job capturing the glory of the National Parks. These are diverse, living landscapes with so much going on and that’s been reflected in the diversity of the competition; from pie-eating selfies in the Lake District, to the haunting beauty of caves in the Brecon Beacons.

“70 years on from the Act of Parliament that created them, National Parks have never been so important. They provide us clean air, peace of mind and stunning beauty. I hope this competition will encourage all to get out and get exploring the National Parks.”

New Forest National Park. Picture: Gillian ThomasNew Forest National Park. Picture: Gillian Thomas

Carl Lis, Chairman of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, speaking on behalf of the UK National Parks said: “It has been a fantastic month seeing all the stunning images that people have taken capturing all sorts of special moments in National Parks – from birds in flight and riders on the beach, to the milky way at night and happy family times.” “People have really got into the spirit of the competition and we would like to thank everyone who took part – it was excruciating choosing our winner and finalists. We would encourage everyone to keep going out snapping, it’s a lovely way to celebrate of the 70th anniversary of the UK’s beautiful National Parks.”

Judges shortlisted pictures from a variety of the UK’s National Parks, including an owl flying over heather in the Pembrokeshire Coast and mushrooms growing in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.

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