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Striking dragonfly image wins wildlife photo award

PUBLISHED: 11:30 11 December 2019

Andrew Neal won the Strictly Come Wildlife category of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust's annual photography awards. Picture: ANDREW NEAL

Andrew Neal won the Strictly Come Wildlife category of the Suffolk Wildlife Trust's annual photography awards. Picture: ANDREW NEAL

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A picture of a colourful dragonfly and a snap of a stubborn grasshopper have been judged as some of the most striking animal images at this year’s Suffolk Wildlife Trust awards.

Judges overall winner, Andrew Neal (Right), Ipswich Wild Skills winner Andrew Mitchell (left) and Michael Strand (centre) Community Fundraising Manager. Picture: SUFFOLK WILDLIFE TRUSTJudges overall winner, Andrew Neal (Right), Ipswich Wild Skills winner Andrew Mitchell (left) and Michael Strand (centre) Community Fundraising Manager. Picture: SUFFOLK WILDLIFE TRUST

The photography awards ceremony took place at Brooke House, Ashbocking on Friday, December 6, where winners and runners-up gathered to celebrate images of the county's rich and diverse wildlife through the power of the lens.

Winner of the judges' overall prize was Andrew Neal, whose up-close picture of a Common Darter dragonfly taken near a river in Essex tipped their decision.

Mr Mitchell said: "On this particular day I was taking pictures of Southern Migrant Hawker Dragonflies in flight, patrolling a ditch beside a river in Essex.

"Once the Hawkers stopped flying, later in the day, I spotted this Common Darter perched in a nice clear area for some photos.

Le-Jhel Williams won the public's vote at the Suffolk Wildlife Trust's annual photography awards. Picture: LE-JHEL WILLIAMSLe-Jhel Williams won the public's vote at the Suffolk Wildlife Trust's annual photography awards. Picture: LE-JHEL WILLIAMS

"I swapped to my macro lens and thankfully it was perfectly cooperative for some pictures.

"So much so that I had time to compose the shot so that a solitary Buttercup on the ground added some nice colour to the background."

The public's overall winner was Le-Jhel Williams, a first-time entrant into a wildlife competition, whose photograph 'On it like a car bonnet' was taken a little closer to home.

He said: "This cricket would not move from the bonnet on my car. I even drove off for a spin only to find it was still there when I pulled up in my drive.

"I never had the confidence to enter a competition before so this is a double first."

Another winner, Andrew Mitchell, scooped the Ipswich Wild Skills award.

The panel was made up of six judges including award-winning wildlife photographers, a local businesswoman and a senior ecologist with Suffolk Wildlife Trust.

The annual competition will open again for 2020 in the spring.

There will be nine categories in total and photos which have been taken in the counties of Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire will be accepted in all categories, apart from the Simply Suffolk section.

Entrants will again be able to submit photographs at https://www.suffolkphotography.org/.

Entrants will again be able to submit photographs online .

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