Wildlife Winners in Lockdown Ealing

Competition photos creating popular display in Walpole Park

Squaark by Nabil Jacob

A popular photography competition which was nearly shelved this difficult year is proving a major attraction in Walpole Park.

Ealing Wildlife Group which was formed four years ago after a chat about bats at Hanwell Viaduct, has now grown online to more than 3,400 members who regularly post photos and observations reflecting the wealth of flora and fauna throughout the borough.

New life emerging by Steve Haskett

The group, headed by Dr Sean McCormack, host regular bat walks each year alongside family friendly park events like pond dipping and bug hunting. They are also involved in local conservation projects, including the creation of a brand new nature reserve in Greenford.

Me and my snail - Attiya Tahseen

The annual photography exhibition, a joint partnership project with Ealing Council, aims to inspire the community to enjoy the outdoos; engage with the green spaces, nature and wildlife.
Group members were urged to submit images that captured the diversity of 'wild life' and what that means to the individual behind the lens.

Launching the competition, Dr McCormack said, '' We want to explore what nature and wildlife means to you. Everyone sees their surroundings through a different lens, so we want to celebrate diverse personal journeys and individual relationships with nature. This is not purely a technical photography exhibition; equally if not more important is the portrayal of images that will engage the public with the natural world at a local level in Ealing."

Candy coloured fly. Picture: Sennen Powell

There were over 350 entries, and six categories:  Beautiful Ealing, Fantastic Flora, Relationships with Nature, Up Close and Personal, Urban Wildlife and Young Wildlife Explorers (for under 16s).
A small judging panel of wildlife and/or photography enthusiasts, members of Ealing Wildlife Group, Ealing Council Park Rangers as well as amateur and professional photographers selected the 24 photographs now on display in Walpole Park and many visitors have been stopping off to admire them. 

Dr McCormack said, ''We almost shelved the 2020 exhibition for various personal reasons in what’s been a challenging year for everyone. But the fact that nature has been such a healer for people during lockdown convinced us it was the right thing to do. We really hope it lifts your spirits!"

He credits a team of people for helping make it happen, "The Council ranger team Jon Staples (whose idea this was), James Morton and Vanessa Hampton. Ealing Council for generous sponsorship. Thomas Bickerdike for display boards. Richard 'Dicky' Wetherill's time and design talent. Walpole Park for hosting. Drew Noble for managing our website and submissions. Jenny Gough and Caroline Farrow for their judging prowess. And you, our wonderful community for your photos and kind feedback on the exhibition each year. It’s hard to pick the winners!"

Just One Look - Steve Morey

The photos will be on display throughout November and December.

Read more about the Ealing Wildlife Group and join on Facebook.

Annemarie Flanagan

11 November 2020