A robin pictured fluffing up its feathers in the cold has secured one young photographer the top prize in a national photography competition.
Self-taught photographer Katy Read discovered her passion for photography during a walk with her grandparents when she was six years old.
She enjoyed taking photographs with their camera so much that she received one of her own on her 10th birthday.
And now she has scooped the Julian Gardner Photography Award in the junior category for the second year running after wowing judges with her imagery of local wildlife.
Katy, 16, from Kenton, Newcastle, said: “Many people know more about exotic wildlife than they do about what’s on their doorstep. I think our everyday, common or garden songbirds are sometimes under appreciated.”
She added: “I'm delighted to have won. Robins are popular birds to photograph, but I hadn't seen one so fluffed up against the cold before.
“I was very happy to get the focus and the framing just right.”
The annual awards, run by the Game & Wildlife Conversation Trust (GWCT), are open to amateur photographers and invite entries which capture all aspects of the UK countryside, including the people, wildlife, habitats and landscape.
In 2019, Katy who is currently studying for A-Levels in art, biology and ancient history, was awarded the GWCT junior prize for her image of a dunnock bird bathing in the rain.
And judges were shocked to learn that they had selected Katy’s image as the winner for a second year running.
Competition judge James Swyer said: “All the entries are anonymised for judging, so we had no idea until after we had picked the winner, that it was another entry from Katy.
“The standard of entries was extremely high, and we struggled to pick a winner from such an outstanding pool of talent.”
He added: “Katy clearly has a bright future ahead of her.”
The competition was launched seven years ago in memory of Julian Gardner, farmer and lifelong supporter of the GWCT, who was tragically killed while defending his property in 2010.
A donation from Julian’s family and friends enabled the GWCT to buy two trophies, one each for the adult and junior categories, which are presented to the winners to display for the next year.
Entries for the 2021 Julian Gardner Awards are open until 30 June 2021 and you can find more details and enter at www.gwct.org.uk/photocompetition.