Plants are essential to everyone's lives. Welcome to Plantlife.

Budding photographers encouraged to capture the Wonders of the South West’s woodlands

Children and adults are invited to take part in a photographic competition being launched by Plantlife this August to celebrate the woodlands of the South West of England.

October 08 2014

Lichen growing in woodland. © Beth Halski

Lichen growing in woodland. © Beth Halski

Close to the Atlantic ocean, these woodlands are important plants areas - internationally recognised hotspots for wild plants -  and  are a botanical treasure trove and home to some of the smallest yet most important wild plants in the UK; such as lichens, mosses and ferns that play a massive role in our lives.  These incredible little plants that often go unnoticed tell us how clean our air is, filter our water, help prevent flooding, provide shelter for wildlife and over the centuries have been used for medicinal purposes, to dye wool, silk and even hair! We want people to see for themselves the wonders hidden within these woodlands and capture what they see on camera.

Rachel Jones, from Plantlife explains “The woodlands of the South West are close to the Atlantic Ocean which creates a unique environment, rarely found in the UK - that is often likened to a tropical rainforest. Rain soaked and humid the woodlands allow lichens, mosses and ferns to flourish which adds to the captivating scenery. The lichens, mosses and ferns that cloak the woodlands of the Quantocks for example, fed the imagination of some of the country’s most famous romantic poets including William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. We hope people will take a closer look at these woodlands and capture what they see on camera. In doing so they will throw these tiny lower plants into the spotlight and encourage more people to come and see the wonders of these woodlands for themselves”

Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

The photography competition is part of Plantlife’s “Make the Small Things Count” project, which over the next two years, thanks to a grant of £62,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and with financial support from project partners will:

  • Enable thousands of people to learn more about these exquisite plants, their importance and heritage.
  • Offer guidance and training to those who look after the South West’s Atlantic woodlands which we have an international responsibility to conserve.
  • Launch a “lichen apprenticeship scheme” to combat the chronic shortage of experts who can identify survey and monitor these species.
  • Offer children and families the opportunity to explore the hidden world of lichens, liverworts, ferns and mosses as part of a series of road shows.

The project will focus on the outstanding landscapes of the Mendip Hills, Quantocks, Exmoor ,Dartmoor and North Devon  coast, which are internationally significant for these beautiful and important plants.

Winners of the photography competition and their guests will be invited to a reception at Lynmouth Pavilion in April 2015 where the winning images will be shown to the public for the first time. Follow the link below for more information including how to enter and the competion rules: