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Big picture exhibition celebrates the glories of the Thames estuary

Last modified: 01 August 2014

Fox yawning

Local wildlife: the winning picture of a fox in the Big Picture wildlife category by Neil Philips

Image: Neil Philips

Photographers from all over the south east entered the RSPB’s Big Picture competition earlier this year to show what they loved about the wildlife, landscapes and people of the Thames estuary, and you can see the winners’ work at the Harbour Arm Gallery in Margate this week.

Entrants in the four categories spoke movingly about their love for nature in the area. Benedict Green, aged 15, who took the top prize in the Young Photographers section, said: “My winning picture was taken at Two Tree Island, which is probably my favourite place in the world at the moment. It was quite unexpected actually, I went there at the end of a day out birding somewhere else in Essex and I didn’t see much for the day, and then I came there and got within a few feet of the waders...

“It’s an amazing place to be...because with flats in the background, you know you’d imagine it as being so densely human - that there’s so much wildlife there and, as you can see, it is right on your doorstep and I really wanted to capture that,” Benedict added.

The free exhibition will run from 5-10 August at the gallery and will be open between 11-3.30pm each day.

The photography competition was held as part of the Greater Thames Futurescape project, which aims to promote the importance of landscape scale conservation in the greater Thames area. The RSPB is working in partnership with businesses, communities and conservation organisations from all around the Greater Thames, which is an internationally significant protected landscape and home to 300,000 wintering wildfowl and other rare species.

The Thames estuary is under threat from the continued pressure for development in the south east of England, including the ongoing proposals for the Thames estuary airport.

The photographers who entered shot a wide range of subjects from a yawning fox and a golden egret delicately drinking to nature in contrast to the industry and human occupation.

Judge Mike Dilger, of BBC’s The One Show, said: “An image can be so much more than just a snapshot of your home, it can tell a very personal story. Choosing how to frame a picture to share your ‘feelings’ about a place that is special to you prompts a deeper look at the landscape and creatures we find familiar.”


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