Stunning photographs of the Yorkshire Dales National Park left judges with a huge headache when it came to picking winners in a special competition.
More than 230 entries flooded in after the national park authority launched the competition, Your Yorkshire Dales National Park: a snapshot.
Its aim was to find out what people thought were the most important qualities of the national park and they were invited to back up their visual entry with a brief written summary of their thoughts on what the area should offer residents and visitors alike in years to come.
The judges were the Craven Herald’s award-winning photographer Stephen Garnett, Hebden’s Olympic gold medal rower Andy Hodge and Drystone Radio DJ 11-year-old Daisy Watkiss, who appeared in the ITV series The Dales with Ade Edmondson.
After hours of agonising, they finally picked overall winners in the adult and Under 18 sections from their favourite 20 photographs.
Stephen said: “From a technical point of view there were some amazing images. You could see that some people had a real eye and talent and took time and effort to get it right. Clearly they were well prepared and had the patience to wait for the perfect shot. It was a pleasure to be involved in the judging – although it was tough.”
The overall winner in the adult section, picked by Andy, was Liquid Sunshine taken at West Burton Falls by Tom Collier from Hetton-le-Hole, while the under 18s top shot, picked by Daisy, was a photograph of cows going to the fields after milking, taken by six-year-old Charlotte Madley of Askrigg.
Their pictures will now feature in the Your Yorkshire Dales National Park photo exhibition at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes in February and in The Visitor 2013 – the official guide to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Andy said: “Being a proud Yorkshireman, albeit away from home too much, I relish any chance to connect with home. It’s been a privilege to be a judge for the photo competition and to see the quality and passion that comes from the Dales. The national park is an incredibly precious community and all these photos are a document to this. I hope they will inspire others to keep shooting and recording our glorious dales.”
Daisy added: “I enjoyed judging the photos and I was particularly impressed by the ones taken by young people of my age group. I found it difficult to choose the winners as the standard was so high.”
The top five photos - including the overall winners - will be turned into a postcard that will be sold at the national park centres and the top 20 photos will also appear in a new National Park Management Plan to be published next year.
Winners were: top five – Tom Collier, of Hetton-le-Hole (overall adult winner), Charlotte Madley, six, of Askrigg (overall under 18 winner), Gordon Nowell, of Buckden, Sara Spillett, of Kettlewell, and Sarah Smith, of Aylesford.
Top 20 - all the above plus Peter Swan, of Dunfermline, Roger Cope, of Cheadle Hulme, John Leigh, of High Green, Sheffield, Mat Robinson, of Millsands, Sheffield, Stephen Smith, of Catterick Garrison, Gordon Nowell, of Buckden, Michael Cardus, of Horton in Ribblesdale, Charlene Doumani, of Carlton, near Leyburn, Dave Higgins, of Askrigg, Steve Glover, of Pudsey, Andy Holden, of Hellifield, Jonathan Woolley, of Burtersett, Hawes, Katherine Jackson, of Glossop, Dominic Greenwood, 13, of Burley in Wharfedale, and Alice Winterburn, 17, of Bolton Abbey.