A Natural Point If View

Geographical, January 2010 | Go to article overview

A Natural Point If View


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Now in its third year, 'Take a view', the Landscape Photographer of the Year Award, acts as a showcase for some of Britain's most spectacular landscapes. This year's competition, which was supported by Natural England, attracted several thousand entries, the pick of which have now been released in book form. Covering the length and breadth of the British Isles, from mountain to moor, from the city to the seaside, this extraordinary collection serves as a welcome reminder of the beauty and diversity that's available on our doorstep

BELOW: Sunrise over the Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland, by Emmanuel Coupe: the competition's overall winner. 'I reached the Old Man while it was still dark, hoping that there might be some interesting light later on, but I surely did not expect the light show that ensued,' says Coupe. 'Shortly after sunrise and while the sun was still at a low angle, rays started to pierce through the clouds, spreading all across the Sound of Raasay:' The Old Man is one of a series of volcanic plugs on the Trotternish peninsula, which was the site of the biggest landslip in the British Isles when heavy lava deposits fell away from the softer rocks below

BELOW: Hermit Crab, Gower, Wales, by Brian Griffiths. 'A friend of mine found this beautiful creature and called me over. Moments later, the heavens opened and we all got soaked.' Roughly 180 square kilometres in area, the Gower Peninsula, on the north side of the Bristol Channel, became, in 1956, the first place in the UK to be designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB); Three Cliffs Bay, on the peninsula's south coast, was voted one of the five best views in Britain by Country Life magazine in 2002. Its name is derived from gwyr, the Welsh word for curved, and the area supports Britain's largest calcareous dune system, one of the country's biggest freshwater marshes, and the largest estuary that is wholly within Wales. The peninsula has a long history of human habitation, with 83 scheduled monuments and ancient monument sites within the AONB, spanning everything from Upper Palaeolithic caves and medieval castles to 18th-century parkland and industrial monuments

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ABOVE: Food for Thought, Aberdeen Harbour, Scotland, by John Parminter. 'I often go down to Aberdeen's harbour for sunset, and on this occasion, I spotted a discarded shopping trolley at my favourite spot. Maybe it isn't the prettiest landscape image I have taken, but I think it has some of its own beauty and hopefully a message as well.' One of Britain's busiest ports, Aberdeen Harbour handles almost 9,000 vessels a year. Situated in the sheltered estuary of the River Dee, the harbour has acted as a port for at least 800 years; RIGHT: The Horse Whisperer, Snowdonia, Wales, by Matthew Halstead. There are more than 150 'wild' ponies in Snowdonia National Park, and their bloodline is believed to stretch back more than 500 years. Henry VIII tried to ban the breeding of ponies under 13 hands, but North Wales was exempted, and its small ponies proved useful during the 19th century, when they were used to haul coal out of the mines. Established in 1951, Snowdonia was the third national park set up in England and Wales. It covers an area of 2,140 square kilometres and contains the highest mountain in Wales

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LEFT: Winter Nightfall, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, England, by Nigel Hillier. 'This was taken on a March evening, following a day of heavy snowfall. It was only when the sun had gone down and the lights had come on that this scene came to life.' Hebden Bridge developed during late medieval times as a river crossing and meeting point of packhorse routes from Halifax to Heptonstall, Burnley and Rochdale--the town takes its name from the 16th-century packhorse bridge over Hebden Water. …

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