Belfast Telegraph

How this snap of a 'gnat' crawling on a Co Antrim window ledge created a buzz among wildlife photo judges...

By Joanne Fleming

It might be just 8mm long, but this tiny gnat made a big impact on the judges of a UK-wide photography competition.

Window Gnat, captured by Susie Hewitt, has won the Hidden Britain category of the prestigious British Wildlife Photography Awards.

The Belfast woman's striking black and white image of the long-legged creature, similar to a mosquito but smaller, beat thousands of entries to be named as one of 16 category winners announced today.

More of Northern Ireland's winning wildlife snappers were celebrated at Belfast City Hall at the weekend as part of Ulster Wildlife's Nature Matters Photography Competition.

Debbie Deboo, from Ballinderry, won the public vote for her photograph called Busy Bee, which was also the category winner of Nature in Flight.

"I have a lot of bee shots where they are hanging artfully from a flower but I really wanted to get one in flight," she said.

"I spent ages sitting in the same spot trying to anticipate the right timing to get exactly what I wanted. This was in my garden in Ballinderry Upper. This was perfect.

"I love taking photographs of nature and as I'm often unwell I use my garden for inspiration. We have let part of it grow into 'nature areas' for insects and wildlife and it means I don't have to go very far with my camera.

"Bees are especially important for the future of our planet and I wanted to take a picture that reflected them hard at work doing their thing, their very essential planet survival thing.

"I think we often ignore the vital work of the tiny flying insects that ensure our survival."

The winning photographs will be on public display in Belfast City Hall until September 20.

The Nature Matters Exhibition can be seen at www.ulsterwildlife.org

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