Photography awards in memory of Julian Gardner

AN inspiring photographic competition, which aims to encapsulate the wonders of the ‘real’ countryside, has been set up in memory of Robertsbridge farmer Julian Gardner.

Set up by the Hampshire-based conservation research charity, the Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust, through a generous donation from Julian’s family and friends, this annual competition aims to ensure Julian’s name lives on by funding two trophies which will be awarded each year to the two winners.

Julian was found dead on the driveway of his home at Bush Barn Farm, Robertsbridge, in October last year.

Seven men are to stand trial in February 2012 in connection with his death.

Peter Thompson, from the GWCT and a keen amateur photographer, said: “Julian was a lifelong supporter of our conservation research and was passionate about the countryside.

“His family are delighted that we are using their donation to set up this annual award in his memory.”

The competition – the Julian Gardner Awards - is open to all amateur photographers and is split into two categories: adult, with the winning entry receiving a hare sculpture, and a 16-and-under winner receiving a sculpture of a leveret.

The two winners will be presented with their trophies at the CLA Game Fair, with the first trophies awarded in July 2012.

A selection of the best photographs will be displayed on the Trust’s stand at the Game Fair next year as well as being featured in the Trust’s membership magazine, ‘Gamewise’.

A spokesman for Julian Gardner’s family said: “Julian was a countryman and farmer..

“He was a kind, sociable and extremely generous man, who was widely respected, much loved and is grievously missed by his family and friends.

“We are really pleased that his memory will live on through GWCT’s photo competition, which is themed around the countryside that he cherished so much.”

All images submitted will be judged by world-class professional photographer Laurie Campbell, who is renowned for his huge catalogue of stunning wildlife images as well as Louise Shervington, the editor of the Trust’s magazine and Peter Thompson, the Trust’s biodiversity officer.

Peter added: “We are looking for images that truly reflect our ‘real’ countryside and the people and wildlife that depend on it for survival.

“This could mean catching the true character of a gamekeeper carrying a few pheasants home for supper or some fantastic wildlife crop that is attracting a veritable army of wild birds.

“Big landscapes are important and so too are game and other wildlife species and of course the people who live, work and play in this ever-changing and inspiring environment.

“We would just urge everyone to get out into the countryside and capture that winning shot.”

To enter the competition, which is open to amateur photographers only, please submit one or two digital images of a least 1MB and maximum 6MB in colour or black and white to photocompetition@gwct.org.uk by May 31 2012.

Please state age if 16 or under and supply all contact details.

The full competition rules are featured on the Trust’s website at www.gwct.org.uk/photocompetition