Picture this - winners announced for Welney Wildfowl and Wetland Trust reserve

Downham High School pupil completes a hat trick of wins with the WWT

The stunning landscape and nature of a Norfolk nature reserve has been captured in the lenses of four regional winners of a national competition.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) centre at Welney has announced the winners in the autumn heat of its photographic contest.

Teenager Karenanne Millburn, 15, a pupil at Downham High School, has achieved her hat trick and won the young photographer category for the third year in a row.

Karenanne has been a WWT member for about five years and usually visits the centre with her Mum. 'I usually take around 300 photographs every time I visit. I am so pleased to have won. My winning shot was taken just as the sunset was falling, the sky was moody but the sun was still trying to peep through. I really enjoy taking photos and have just secured a place at City of Norwich College doing photography A Level,' she said.

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Keen photographers in and around Norfolk were invited to submit entries for four photographic categories in the first seasonal heat the competition.

The competition was open to visitors at the nine WWT wetland centres around the UK.

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Julie Ward, manager at the Welney centre, said: 'We received more than 2,500 submissions across the country, but the quality of the entries from these four fantastic winners caught the judges' eye and really bought our local WWT wetland centre to life. The competition encourages people to get really close to all the fantastic wildlife we have here at the centre; and these stunning images show off some of the most elegant and colourful array of birds, insects and other animals seen during the autumn.'

Winner Albert Horton has held his WWT membership for two years and won the Wetland Landscapes category with Welney at Sunset.

'I am a keen photographer and have been a member of March's local camera club for many years. I was really happy with my winning photo as soon as I took it. The conditions and the lighting were ideal, so it was just a case of getting the composition and exposure right,' he said.

Ian Taylor, a finance worker from Maida Vale, London, was named winner in the Wetland Wildlife category, with his picture called Swans.

Mr Taylor visited the Welney WWT wetlands centre as a day trip out with his family. Wildlife photography is his hobby, he said: 'It can be so difficult to photograph birds in flight. I'd been sat in a hide at the centre waiting for about 40 minutes but nothing was happening. All of a sudden three swans flew up and I was able to get my winning shot. I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time.'

Hayley Wincott, was named winner in the Wildlife and People category, with her picture entitled Seeking the Hide.

Members of the public are now invited to vote online for their People's Choice category winner for each centre, for each season. More than 12,800 votes have been cast so far and voting closes on January 1.'

The autumn seasonal winners have each won a place on a photography course held by nature photography experts Wild Arena. Each winner will also go through to the national finals being held next autumn, where �50,000 of prizes are up for grabs including wildlife photography and activity holidays.

As the winner of the Wetland Wildlife Category, Mr Taylor will also be in with the chance to win a three-day bird of prey photography workshop in the Czech Republic if he is voted the national winner.

The winter heat of the competition is now open and photographers can enter their prize pictures taken at WWT centres online at www.wwt.org.uk/photo until February 29 2012.

Entrants are being encouraged to enter more than two of the seasonal heats to automatically go into the Portfolio Photographer of the Year category and to be in with a chance of winning a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Antarctica

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