London National Park City: Final Call For Wildlife Photo Competition

The London Wildlife Trust wants to see your images of the thriving biodiversity of the UK's capital – on the eve of it becoming the world's first National Park City.

Published 19 Jun 2019, 14:55 BST
This urban fox had taken to using a garden pet carrier as a bed.
This urban fox had taken to using a garden pet carrier as a bed.
Photograph by Paul Cowan

Foxes, badgers, woodpeckers and an array of waterfowl are a few of the entries so far in the London Wildlife Trust’s National Park City photography competition, which closes on 24thJune. The competition, run in conjunction with the Mayor of London and the Museum of London, seeks to celebrate the less obvious denizens that call the UK’s capital home. “We want to see London’s wildlife through your eyes, from garden foxes to a flower growing from a crack in a wall – it's all about the unique ways you experience nature in our city,” reads a call to action on the competition’s website

The subjects of these images share London with almost 9 million human beings, a number that suggests wildlife might be a little on the scarce side. But according to Daniel Raven-Ellison – a National Geographic Explorer and a key driver behind the London National Park City initiative, which reaches reality in July this year – not only is wildlife plentiful, but remarkable in its diversity. “The city can be a brilliant place to see wildlife. Nearly 15,000 species have been recorded in London and to see them all you have to do is get outside, explore the city and start taking notice.” He says. “I love foxes and at the right time of the day you can see them nearly everywhere in London. There are also more elusive animals like seals, sea horses, badgers, scorpions, adders and peregrine falcons which are far harder to spot, but they live here too.”

This spring shot captures young owls, called owlets.
Photograph by Robert Horsefield

Judges for the competition include adventurer Bear Grylls, urban birdwatching personality David Lindo, former wildlife photographer of the year Sam Hobson and London's Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Shirley Rodrigues. There are adult and under-18 categories, and the competition is open to any image that features a wild plant or animal photographed within Greater London. Entrants have until 9am on the 24thJune to submit entries. Competition winners will be treated to a day of wildlife photography tuition and a brace of Canon camera equipment. They will also have the honour of their image displayed in an outdoor exhibition space in St Pancras Square in Kings Cross during the London National Park City Festival which takes places on the week of 20-28thJuly.

“Roughly 47% of the city is ‘green’ with 33% of this space natural habitats within open space and 14% vegetated private or domestic garden land. ”

Concrete or jungle?

Roughly 47% of Britain's capital is ‘green’, according to Greenspace Information for Greater London, with 33% of this space natural habitats within open space, and 14% vegetated private or domestic garden land. According to the same source 42% of Greater London can be classified as open space, which varies in nature from parks and gardens to cemetaries and sports facilities. The National Park City initiative was born from a desire to make Londoners enjoy their outdoor environment more and ‘make the city greener, healthier and wilder.’ It launches on July 22 and will be the first park of its kind in the world – that is to say, one that includes an entire city within its borders, not to mention a famously bustling and populous capital one.  

“This is a brilliant competition,” continues Daniel Raven-Ellison. “By taking part photographers will be helping to grow and weave a story that takes pride in, celebrates and champion's London's wilder side. These images and stories will not only help to increase the number of people who want to protect urban nature, but create more space for it too.”

Enter the competition and read full terms and conditions here. 


Gallery: View Some of 2019's Entries So Far

Read More

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