Eye-catching Saddleworth owl photograph scoops first prize

WITH PIERCING yellow eyes, this short-eared owl was captured on a fencepost bathed in golden evening sunlight on Saddleworth moorland.

Malcolm Mee’s photograph won the Moors for the Future Partnership’s first photography competition.

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The winning picture by Malcolm Mee

The winning image was chosen by wildlife photographer Paul Hobson and BBC Springwatch regular contributor Wildlife Kate MacRae.

She said: “Golden light falling on this stunning owl was what made this shot stand out.

“The moor in the distance puts this awesome hunter in context with its landscape. A cracking shot!”

Malcolm explained: “I have been visiting the same location for four years trying to get shots of this daytime hunter.

“I stay in my car as it makes a perfect hide, giving me just enough time to get the portrait I was seeking.”

The competition is part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Community Science project run by Moors for the Future Partnership, which works to protect the most degraded moorland landscapes in Europe.

The competition focused on raising awareness of how vital it is to conserve the internationally-important Blanket Bog habitat of the South Pennine Moors Special Area of Conservation.

Project manager Sarah Proctor said: “It’s wonderful to see all the inspiring moments people living in and around the moorlands have captured and shared with us.”

The winning and shortlisted photos can be seen online and will be on display in the Peak District National Park and beyond. Check the website for listings.


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