The Ercall takes centre stage as council announces winners of Local Nature Reserve photo competition

Telford & Wrekin Council has announced the winners of its My Walk Today photo competition today, with The Ercall featuring in both the adult and under-16s winning entries.

The Ercall takes centre stage as council announces winners of Local Nature Reserve photo competition

The competition, launched by the council in December to coincide with the school Christmas holidays, encouraged people to visit the borough’s 17 Local Nature Reserves over the holiday period and submit photos of their walks for the chance to win tickets to local attractions.

The council received more than 100 entries and saw visits to their Local Nature Reserve web pages increase by 200% during the campaign, with over a thousand more page views than the previous year.

The competition judging panel, which comprised Mayor of the borough of Telford and Wrekin, Councillor Amrik Jhawar; Telford & Wrekin Council Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Green Spaces, Natural and Historic Environment and cultural services, Cllr Carolyn Healy (Labour); and Angie Astley, Executive Director for Housing, Communities & Customer Services at Telford & Wrekin Council, chose their winners earlier this week.

Cllr Jhawar said:

“We’ve received such a wonderful array of photos and captions for this competition, making it really tough to choose just one winner in each category. What’s clear is that we have a wealth of absolutely beautiful green spaces in Telford and Wrekin, and that local residents and visitors to our borough really cherish them.

“People submitted photos from many of the council’s Local Nature Reserves, with Apley Woods, Lilleshall Hill, Limekiln Woods, Dothill and Dawley Hamlets among the most popular sites. In the end, we chose images from two very talented photographers as our winners, both of whom featured The Ercall Local Nature Reserve in their photographs.”

Paul Murray from Hadley was announced as the winner of the adult category for his sensational photo of The Wrekin at night viewed from The Ercall.

Paul said:

“What I like about this green space is the viewpoint you can find overlooking the old Ercall quarry and ultimately The Wrekin. When conditions are just right and we have clear skies you can catch a glimpse of the Milky Way overhead. What better place to spend a night under the stars.”

For the under-16s category, the judges chose a picture taken on 19th December by Megan Dawes, aged 11, during her walk up The Ercall.

Megan impressed the judges with both the quality of her image and the notes she included in her caption about her walk, which referenced the ‘temperature inversion’ blanket of cloud that she was able to capture in her photo.

Megan said:

“What I like about this green space is quiet views of its bigger and busier sister The Wrekin.”

As their prize, both winners have received four tickets to activities in Telford Town Park, which, as well as being well-known as a one of the UK’s best loved parks, is also home to one of the borough’s most spectacular Local Nature Reserves – a staggering 230 acre site in the heart of the town, where over 14 miles of cycle friendly footpaths weave visitors past pools and lakes and through meadows, heaths and woodland.

Cllr Healy said:

“Our borough’s 17 Local Nature Reserves are the jewels in our ‘green spaces’ crown in Telford and Wrekin. I’m delighted that this competition has inspired hundreds of local people to find out more about them, and I’d encourage those who are yet to visit these spaces to take a look at our website for more details to help you plan your trips.

“Whether you’re looking for a bracing walk up a hill or a peaceful spot with gorgeous views, there’s something for everyone, and visiting these places can really boost your wellbeing.

“That’s why Telford & Wrekin Council is continuing to invest in our borough’s green spaces, including our Local Nature Reserves. We have recently announced a £2m investment into further enhancing and protecting these spaces and I look forward to sharing news of this programme’s progress soon.”

“In the meantime, I would like to thank everyone who sent in their photos for this competition. We will share as many of them as possible on our social media channels to showcase the talented people and beautiful spaces of Telford and Wrekin.”

Photo caption: Photo features My Walk Today competition winners Paul Murray and Megan Dawes with their winning photographs taken during visits to The Ercall & Lawrence’s Hill Local Nature Reserve.