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Stunning images win British Wildlife Photography Awards

Published 05/09/2016

Hitchhikers (a Lion's mane jellyfish) taken by George Stoyle, the winning photograph in the Coast and Marine category and BWPA 2016 overall winner.(British Wildlife Photography Awards)
Hitchhikers (a Lion's mane jellyfish) taken by George Stoyle, the winning photograph in the Coast and Marine category and BWPA 2016 overall winner.(British Wildlife Photography Awards)
Cygnet With Swan taken by Seren Waite, the winning photograph in the Under-12 category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Free Bird taken by Chaitanya Deshpande, the winning photograph in the British Nature in Black and White category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Bird Seed (Silver birch seeds in a Garden Spider web) taken by David Maitland, the winning photograph in the Botanical category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
The Supermarket Starling taken by Geoff Trevarthen, the winning photograph in the Urban Wildlife category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Kung Fu Puffin taken by Rebecca Bunce, the winning photograph in the 12-18 Years category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Contemplation (a Mountain hare) taken by Jamie Mina, the winning photograph in the Animal Portraits category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Twisted Green (a pedunculate oak) taken by Steve Palmer, the winning photograph in the Wild Woods category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Emergence (a dragonfly transformation) taken by Stephen Darlington, the winning photograph in the Hidden Britain category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Back Garden Babies (Garden spiders) taken by Jacqueline Spindley, the winning photograph in the Animal Behaviour category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Common Weasel taken by Robert E Fuller, the winning photograph in the British Seasons (spring) category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Common Weasel taken by Robert E Fuller, the winning photograph in the British Seasons (winter) category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Common Weasel taken by Robert E Fuller, the winning photograph in the British Seasons (summer) category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Common Weasel taken by Robert E Fuller, the winning photograph in the British Seasons (autumn) category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Tadpoles taken by Jeanette Sakel, the winning photograph in the Closer to Nature category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.
Living Space (Gannets on Bass Rock) taken by Charles Everitt, the winning photograph in the Habitat category of the British Wildlife Photography Awards.

A striking image of young fish taking refuge among the stinging tentacles of a giant jellyfish has scooped the top prize in this year's British Wildlife Photography Awards.

Photographs of seeds caught in a cobweb, close-ups of baby spiders and tadpoles, a black and white image of a bird flying past a skyscraper lost in fog and a series which follow a weasel through the season were among the winning shots.

George Stoyle, from Muston, North Yorkshire, won the overall prize of £5,000 for his image of a huge lion's mane jellyfish and its Hitchhikers shot in the sea off Scotland during a project to assess the biology of major sea caves off remote UK islands.

He said: "At the end of one of the dives I was swimming back to the boat when I came face-to -face with the largest jellyfish I've ever encountered.

"As I approached cautiously I noticed that a number of juvenile fish had taken refuge inside the stinging tentacles."

David Nussbaum, chief executive of WWF-UK which sponsored the coast and marine category in the awards, which Mr Stoyle also won with his photograph, said the competition celebrated the "diversity, splendour and drama" of UK wildlife.

"This year's winning image is a striking example of the natural beauty and variety of life we have within and around our shores, as well as the skill and artistry of our wildlife photographers.

"The photo exquisitely captures the voluptuous frills and folds, and kaleidoscope colours of this giant jellyfish.

"But it's the jelly's piscean 'stowaways' that make this picture, a shoal of shimmering, glistening juvenile fish finding safe harbour amongst the tangle of tentacles," he said.

Pictures were awarded in 15 categories, including an urban wildlife section won by an image of a starling on a supermarket trolley and a documentary series which recorded efforts to track rare harvest mice.

In the junior categories, 18-year Rebecca Bunce from Reading won for her Kung Fu Puffins shot of the seabirds tussling on Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, and 10-year-old Seren Waite from London scooped top prize for a shot called Cygnet with Swan.

The category winners are:

Coast and marine - Hitchhikers, Lion's mane jellyfish, George Stoyle, Muston, North Yorkshire;

Animal portraits - Mountain Hare, Jamie Mina, Glasgow;

Animal behaviour - B ack Garden Babies, garden spider, Jacqueline Spindley, Balderton, Newark, Nottinghamshire;

Urban wildlife - T he Supermarket Starling, Geoff Trevarthen, Launceston, Cornwall;

Hidden Britain - E mergence, Stephen Darlington, East Moseley, Surrey;

Wild woods - T wisted Green, Steve Palmer , Wilmslow, Cheshire;

Habitat - L iving Space, Bass Rock, Charles Everitt , Edinburgh;

Botanical - B ird Seed, silver birch and garden spider web, David Maitland, Feltwell, Norfolk;

Close to nature - T adpoles, Jeanette Sakel , Bristol;

British nature in black and white - F ree Bird, Chaitanya Deshpande, London;

British seasons - C ommon Weasel, Robert E Fuller, Malton ,Yorkshire;

Documentary series - H arvest Mice, Nick Upton, Corsham, Wiltshire;

Wildlife in HD video - S pring on the River, Liam Marsh, Buckland St Mary, Chard, Somerset;

Under 12 category - Cygnet with Swan, Seren Waite, 10, London;

12-18 years category - K ung Fu Puffins, Rebecca Bunce, 18, Reading.

The winning images, video and highly commended entries can be viewed at http://www.bwpawards.co.uk

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