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Colin hogs the limelight in Suffolk Wildlife Trust photo contest

PUBLISHED: 07:30 09 December 2017

Colin Barley's Backlit Hedgehog - Eastern Angles category winner. the judges' winner and the overall public vote winner in Suffolk Wildlife Trust's 2017 photography competition.

Colin Barley's Backlit Hedgehog - Eastern Angles category winner. the judges' winner and the overall public vote winner in Suffolk Wildlife Trust's 2017 photography competition.

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For an amateur photographer it was a dream picture of a hedgehog - which is somewhat appropriate as it was taken as he slept.

Public vote winner Colin Barley, centre, with runner-up Kevin Pigney, left, and Nicholas Hurst at Suffolk Wildlife Trust's photography competition presentations night. Picture: JOHN GRANTPublic vote winner Colin Barley, centre, with runner-up Kevin Pigney, left, and Nicholas Hurst at Suffolk Wildlife Trust's photography competition presentations night. Picture: JOHN GRANT

Keen amateur wildlife photographer Colin Barley notched up a triple triumph in Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s 2017 photography competition - with a stunning picture that was taken while he was fast asleep.

Mr Barley’s night-time camera and flashlight set-up was clicking away automatically in his Wickham Market garden and captured a perfect hedgehog image as he was tucked up in bed. The striking image - in which the ‘hog is silhouetted against the light - was submitted for the competition’s Easter Angles category. It won that outright, and so went on with all the other eight category winners to be judged by members of the public in an online trust poll to select the overall competition winner.

The result of the poll - and that of the judges’ choice of their favourite image entered in the competition - was announced at a celebratory prize-giving event at the trust’s Brooke House, Ashbocking, headquarters.

Trust development officer Michael Strand, who organised the annual competition, told guests that the contest had proved more popular with members of the public than ever before.

Kevin Pigney's Young Roe Deer, Strictly Come Wildlife category winner in the Suffolk Wildlife Trust competition.Kevin Pigney's Young Roe Deer, Strictly Come Wildlife category winner in the Suffolk Wildlife Trust competition.

“We had 4,800 hits on the competition website and 1,700 views on the voting page,” he said. “We are very pleased to say that this time we received more votes than ever, with 800 being registered.”

Mr Barley’s image gained 308 public votes and was a clear winner, earning Mr Barley a two-night stay for two people at the luxury Upthorpe Lodges, at Stanton, near Bury St Edmunds.

His photo was also chosen by the competition judges as their favourite image from the contest - so he completed a category, public vote and judges’ choice hat-trick. By winning the public vote, Mr Barley carried off a £300 cheque from the competition’s main sponsor, Ipswich Building Society.

Modest Mr Barley, a beet mill worker, told eanenvironment: “With the trip camera that runs all night you never quite know what you are going to get and what the results are going to be like. Anything can set the camera off and sometimes you get the head of whatever it is creeping into the frame, maybe a cat or something, or sometimes you may get the other end of it.

Nicholas Hurst's Meadowland, On the Doorstep category winner in the competition.Nicholas Hurst's Meadowland, On the Doorstep category winner in the competition.

“This particular night it was a lucky result - I’d put some mealworms down and in one shot the hedgehog was full in the frame and backlit just right.”

Kevin Pigney, of Burwell, came second in the public voting with his highly impressive photograph of a young roe deer running straight at the camera. His picture, taken during a close encounter and with split-second timing while he was out photographing barn owls at Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire, won the competition’s Strictly Come Wildlife category, gaining 143 public votes.

Just three votes behind, taking third place in the public poll, was Nicholas Hurst’s Meadowland, a portrait of a rabbit in a meadow of bright yellow buttercups. The charming image won the competition’s On the Doorstep category - the meadow in which Mr Hurst spent two hours patiently lying on his stomach for just such a shot is adjacent to the old railway line walk in Lavenham, Mr Hurst’s home village.

Each of the nine category winners were awarded with wooden trophies made by Out of the Woodwork. Under 12 category winner Stewart Easterbrook and 12-18 category winner Gideon Knight both also received a pair of binoculars donated by Viking Optics.

Gideon Knight's Green Woodpecker, the competition's 12-18 category winner.Gideon Knight's Green Woodpecker, the competition's 12-18 category winner.

The complete list of category winners and runners-up:

Under 12 - winner, Wise Bird, Stewart Easterbrook, runner-up, Stopping for a Rest, Tess Easterbrook.

12-18 - winner, Green Woodpecker, Gideon Knight, runner-up, Grey Squirrel, Gideon Knight.

Comedy - winner, No Fishing Allowed, Alan Leeks, runner-up, I’m So Shy, Sue Reynolds.

Alan Leeks' No Fishing Allowed ,the competition's  Comedy category winner.Alan Leeks' No Fishing Allowed ,the competition's Comedy category winner.

Simply Suffolk - winner, Lackford Lakes, Shirley Shakespear, runner-up, Struck, Nicholas Seamen.

Strictly Come Wildlife - winner, Young Roe Deer, Kevin Pigney, runner-up, Goldfinch Pulling Wool, Paul Richards.

Easter Angles - Backlit Hedgehog, Colin Barley, runner-up, Flocking, Paula Cooper.

Unearthed - winner, Wasp, Claire Haskins, runner-up, Autumn Harvey, Kath Aggiss.

Out of Sight Suffolk - winner, Protective Mother, Guy Pilkington, runner-up, Two Dozen Eggs, Amanda Burgess.

On the Doorstep - winner, Meadowland, Nicholas Hurst, runner-up, Me and My Shadow, Trevor Taylor.

The winning photographs and the runners-up in each category will be displayed at the trust’s Lackford Lakes nature reserve over the Christmas period. They can also be viewed on the trust’s website.

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