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British Wildlife Photography Awards

Each year, the BWPA images are adored in the press (both in print and on TV), toured around the UK in a travelling exhibition, and published in our beautiful collection books.

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About
British Wildlife Photography Awards

BWPA was founded in 2009 by Maggie Gowan, and grew into the greatly revered and treasured competition that it is today. As of 2022, the competition is now directed by photographer Will Nicholls.

Each year, the BWPA images are adored in the press (both in print and on TV), toured around the UK in a travelling exhibition, and published in our beautiful collection books.

Our competition has a number of key aims:

  • Recognise the talents of photographers practising in the UK, whilst highlighting the great wealth and diversity of Britain’s natural history.

  • Celebrate British wildlife and wild spaces through a collection of inspirational photographs.

  • Showcase the very best of our nature photography to a wide audience and engage all ages with evocative and powerful imagery.

  • Encourage discovery, exploration, conservation and enjoyment of our natural heritage.

  • Raise awareness about British biodiversity, species, and habitats.

Overall Winner

The coveted title of British Wildlife Photographer of the Year is awarded to the photographer whose single image is judged to be the most striking and memorable of all the entries.

  • Prize: £5,000 cash (+ category prize)
ADULT CATEGORY WInnerS

Each category will have its own winner, from which the Overall Winner of the competition is chosen.

  • Prize: £750 cash for each category winner
Young OVERALL WInner

The RSPB Young British Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is free to enter, and is set up to encourage participation amongst young people. We will choose an overall winner from the three categories who will be given the title of RSPB Young British Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

  • Prize: £750 voucher (+ category prize)
YOUNG CATEGORY WInnerS

Each of the three categories will have a winner, from which the overall winner is chosen.

  • Prize: £250 voucher for each category winner
COMPETITION CATEGORIES
Animal portraits

The judges will be looking for an image that captures the character or spirit of the subject imaginatively; and expect to get a sense of the animal’s “personality” from the photograph. All species will be considered.

Botanical Britain

This category includes botanical subjects photographed in Britain, including trees, plants, flowers, fungi and algae. Capture the essence, beauty and diversity of the botanical world, whether close-up, macro or as part of a wider scene.

Black & white

Any images of British wildlife and landscapes are eligible. This includes all animals, plant life, underwater creatures and landscape subjects. The judges will be looking for creativity and innovation in the use of the medium.

British seasons

For this category, the judges are looking for a stunning portfolio of four images. The portfolio needs to portray British wildlife at its very best in each of the four seasons; Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, or a portfolio of four from just one season. Each image needs to capture the season’s essence together with a wildlife subject from any British location. The portfolio must work together as a set, themes are also encouraged. Each portfolio can either be four seasons or a single season.

Coast & marine

This includes the coast of the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, the Isles of Scilly and the hundreds of other islands around our shores bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the English Channel and the North Sea.

Habitat

The judges will be looking for an imaginative and original image that powerfully portrays the importance of the environment and ecosystems that sustain the wildlife within them. This can include animals, plants, and the relationships between them; for example a butterfly feeding on wildflowers or a barn owl hunting over rough grassland.

Hidden Britain

Reveal the secret universe that is life on a small scale – a life that is all around us but rarely seen. This category is for invertebrate animal species only.

Urban wildlife

Wherever we live, wildlife can be found alongside us in our towns and cities, parks, gardens and backyards. The judges are looking for an original image that shows wild animals or plants within an urban environment.

Wild woods

The judges will be looking for a winning image that celebrates the beauty and importance or sheer splendour of our British woods. Photographs must be taken of or within woodland. Entries could be portraits of woodland wildlife, wooded landscapes, intricate details of plants, or show the relationships between species and forests.

Documentary series

This category can be a sequence of up to six images of any British wildlife, habitat or landscape conservation issue. The judges will be looking for innovation in story-telling, within a series of up to six images.

Wildlife in HD video

This category will look for talented cinematographers producing short films up to 3 minutes. The focus should be primarily on cinematography, and display an understanding of how to create a strong sequence. You could document an animal’s day, a behaviour sequence, the struggle to raise young, or something else.

RSPB Young BWPA

The title of RSPB Young British Wildlife Photographer of the Year is awarded to one of the winners of the three categories:

  • 11 and under
  • 12-14 years
  • 15-17 years
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