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Photography competition will mark the 70th birthday of the UK's first national nature reserve in the Highlands


By Alasdair Fraser

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Beinn Eighe national nature reserve is is approaching its 70th anniversary
Beinn Eighe national nature reserve is is approaching its 70th anniversary

A Scotland-wide photography contest will mark the 70th anniversary of the UK’s first national nature reserve (NNR) in Wester Ross.

The advisory body NatureScot is inviting people from across the country to submit entries showcasing the scenic beauty of Beinn Eighe NNR.

Launched on Tuesday this week, 20 winning submissions will be displayed as part of an exhibition to celebrate this autumn’s special birthday. The top two photographers will enjoy a day of exclusive access to the reserve in the one-to-one company of a professional photographer, who will share industry hints and tips.

Beinn Eighe covers 48sq km of mountain peaks, ancient pinewoods and wildlife such as secretive crossbills, deer, pine martens and golden eagles. It also holds expanding areas of Caledonian pine forest, with ancient ‘granny’ pines found on the lower slopes and temperate rainforest in the gorges.

Beinn Eighe national nature reserve is is approaching its 70th anniversary
Beinn Eighe national nature reserve is is approaching its 70th anniversary

More ancient woodland fragments are found on more than 60 islands scattered across Loch Maree, while NNR wildlife includes deer, pine martens and golden eagles, as well as rare plants, butterflies, dragonflies and other insects.

Doug Bartholomew, Beinn Eighe’s NNR manager, said: "We are looking for photos – new or old – of Beinn Eighe which capture the natural beauty, special nature and people’s unique experiences.

"We would particularly like entrants to include a description with their photos about a memory or experience at Beinn Eighe, to show what the NNR has meant to them over the years.”

Prizes are as follows:

1st prize – Loch Maree Islands Boat Trip - An all-inclusive day with NNR staff and professional photographer Laurie Campbell, exploring and learning about the Loch Maree islands with opportunities to take unique photographs.

2nd prize – A one-to-one photography experience at Beinn Eighe NNR - A guided day with professional photographer Laurie Campbell on Beinn Eighe, photographing nature with the majestic backdrop of Beinn Eighe.

Beinn Eighe national nature reserve is is approaching its 70th anniversary
Beinn Eighe national nature reserve is is approaching its 70th anniversary

The top 20 photos will receive a Beinn Eighe 70th anniversary mug. All shortlisted photos will be on display as part of a Beinn Eighe 70th anniversary exhibition.

Entries should be submitted in the first instance as lower resolution JPEGs to beinneighe70@nature.scot or through Instagram, using the hashtag #beinneighe70 in your Instagram post.

High resolution versions of pictures must also be available for printing purposes. The closing date for entries is 5pm on 1 October 2021.

More information on the contest’s terms and conditions can be found at the NatureScot website.


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