Flagship Pond Photo Competition

HLF useHelp us celebrate the country’s finest ponds with our Flagship Pond photo competition

We are working with 70 Flagship Pond sites across England and Wales. Each one of them is a gem, a refuge, a bright beacon, supporting plants and animals that are fading from the rest of the countryside. The Flagship Pond mission is to protect these places by supporting the dedicated teams of people who care for them.


To celebrate these Flagship Pond sites, we are inviting you to take photos that revel in the landscape and habitats, the plants and animals, the people and the heritage, through the seasons. Whether you use your phone, a compact, or an SLR, you can enter photos into three categories:

  • Landscapes and Habitats – capture the beauty, complexity, drama, or magic of these precious ponds.
  • Species – whether common or rare, we want to see the weird and wonderful plants and animals that inhabit ponds.
  • People and Heritage – document the part that people play in these ponds’ lives, or the ponds play in peoples’ lives.

Read on for more details and use the form below to enter your photos.

Important to know…

Freshwater Habitat Trust would like to use your photos to celebrate and raise awareness of the important UK pond wildlife sites, the rare species now restricted to fewer and fewer sites, and the people caring for them in our Flagship Pond project. Photos must be taken at one of the 70 Flagship Pond sites in England and Wales, or feature one of the plants and animals now restricted in its distribution.

We would like to see photos taken across spring, summer, autumn and winter, reflecting the different character and activity of Flagship Pond sites through the seasons, and various stages in the lives of plants and animals.

Any photo entered here may be used on websites, social media, in books, reports, posters, banners, and more, by us and our partners. We will credit you as the photographer whenever possible. If you don’t want your photo published, don’t enter it into the competition.

The competition is open to anyone over 18 years of age, professional or amateur, except those directly involved in the organisation and judging, including Freshwater Habitats Trust’s employees, families and relatives.

Some Flagship Pond sites are accessible to the public, and some are not. Some sites allow people to roam freely, and other sites restrict access to certain areas for the safety of people and wildlife. It is up to you to check whether you have permission to visit a site and to access the ponds on a site. If in doubt, consult maps for rights of way, look online for site information, or contact the site manager, and follow any instructions on site.

Some of the plants and animals are protected by legislation against disturbance. We won’t accept photos of these protected species unless it is clear the species wasn’t disturbed, or you have a licence that allows you to photograph them. We may ask to see a copy of the licence. Find out more about the legislation in England and Wales.

Images of identifiable children can put those children at risk. If your photo shows children who can be identified (e.g. face or school logo visible), make sure you have the consent of the children and their parent/guardian to share their image before entering it into this competition.

You can only enter photos digitally, using the form below. We cannot accept entries sent by post or email, and we cannot guarantee that we will return any material sent by post.

You can enter up to three photos in each category of the competition. That’s a total of nine entries. You need to complete an entry form for each individual photo.

We are looking for photos that we can use in many different ways, including in print, and large banners or posters. That means high resolution photos with a large file size are most valuable to us. Please submit the original photo, not a snip, screen grab or lower quality copy. You may want to edit or crop photos a little to enhance the subject matter, or be creative in the composition or perspective, but we are not after highly modified, composite, altered or unnatural-looking images.

Save your photo as a .jpeg file, and include your name and the name of the Flagship Pond site, species, group or event in the file name. For example: ‘Sunset at Inglestone Common by Al Most Dark’, or ‘Volunteer Sarah looking for newts at Sound Common by Tor Schlight’.

The competition will close on the 31st October 2017. Entries will be shortlisted and a public vote will choose the winning entries in November/December 2017. Winners will be invited to join us at the People, Ponds & Water end of project celebration in January 2018, where the photos will be displayed.

The decision of the judges and public vote are final, and no correspondence will be entered into.

You can get regular updates on this competition and the rest of our work by joining the Freshwater Habitats Trust mailing list, the People, Ponds & Water mailing list, and by following us on Facebook and Twitter #FlagshipPond

Entry Form


Flagship Pond Photo Competition
Drop a file here or click to upload Choose File
Maximum upload size: 67.11MB
Tip: include your name and the site or species name in the file name
Tell us which Flagship Pond site you took the photo at or choose 'Other' to enter a different site name
Choose 'Not relevant' if your photo doesn't feature one of the restricted species listed
Tell us something, such as how you took the picture, why you chose the subject, what the place means to you, or what went wrong! We may share your story on our website or social media.