TALENTED amateur photographers have captured the special qualities and variety of the Howardian Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Following the success of their first photographic competition in 2014, Rural Action Yorkshire, the Howardian Hills AONB and the Yorkshire Arboretum teamed up to organise this year’s event. The competition was supported by Joe Cornish Gallery, McClarrons Insurance, Castle Howard, The Yorkshire Arboretum and HPE Print.

Entries were welcomed under the themes of landscape, flora and fauna, history and heritage, and living and working in the AONB, along with a category for young photographers under the age of 17, who submitted entries showing what was special to them about the AONB.

More than 100 high quality and varied images were received and after much scrutiny and debate, category finalists and winners were chosen and their images are now on display at The Yorkshire Arboretum until the end of the month.

The judges, Steve Race, from Yorkshire Coast Nature, Janet and Richard Burdon, from RJB Photographic, and Paula Craddock, from Ryedale District Council, all had a very difficult time choosing the winners from such high quality entries.

The winner of the flora and fauna category and the overall winning entry was a photograph of a redwing eating frozen berries and was taken at Huttons Ambo by Alice White.

The landscape winner was an image entitled A Tranquil Scene at Castle Howard, taken by Adrian Clay. This also won the overall runner-up title.

Harry Kingman was the living and working winner with an image taken at a local Sheep Dog trial.

A close-up shot of the cupola at Castle Howard, taken by Julie Cowdy, was the winner of the history and heritage category.

Young photographers impressed the judges with their images of special places in the Howardian Hills. Alexandra Wallis was the overall winner with a photograph entitled A Floral Lady taken inside Castle Howard.

There was a special prize given by the Yorkshire Arboretum to the best photo taken there, which was awarded to Helen Jones for one entitled Backlit Autumn Acer.

Anne Ainsley, visitor services manager at the Arboretum, said: “It is a pleasure to host this exhibition of the finalists’ entries to the AONB photography competition. 

“The high standard of the entries is providing a great display in the centre as we welcome visitors for the new season.”

Prizes have been awarded to category winners with both the overall winner and runner-up also being presented with a presentation print of their photograph.