The 15 best pictures from the National Trust’s photo competition to find a cover for its 2020 member handbook

A beautiful image of a nature reserve on the Isle of Wight has won the honour of being on the cover of the handbook sent out to the National Trust's 5.6 million members.

Choosing an image to sit on the cover of the National Trust’s handbook can’t be easy: the organisation manages 500 historic houses and over 600,000 acres of gardens, coastline, woodland and countryside. With so much to choose from, knowing where to start is probably the hardest bit.

For the 2020 edition, the Trust decided to start with the public. They ran a competition asking people to submit their images as potential covers for the handbook, asking in particular for pictures of ‘places that make you feel good’, as well as reflecting the work that the organisation does.

Thousands of people took up the challenge, sending in their images to an expert judging panel that included naturalist, presenter and wildlife cameraman Simon King.

The winning image was this, taken by Les Lockhart of Newtown National Nature Reserve on the Isle of Wight:

The winning image, to appear on the cover of National Trust members' handbooks, is Les Lockhart's picture of Newtown Nature Reserve on the Isle Of Wight. © Les Lockhart

The winning image, to appear on the cover of National Trust members’ handbooks, is Les Lockhart’s picture of Newtown Nature Reserve on the Isle Of Wight. © Les Lockhart

‘I love being able to go out to Newtown regularly, whether it’s during the day to watch all the wildlife, or in the evening for the sunset,’ said the winning photographer, who lives nearby in East Cowes.

‘It’s such a beautiful, peaceful location, and there are so many features that make it a great place for photography too, like the walkway and the boats on the estuary.’

Judge Simon King, who is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, praised the ‘beautiful composition’ which made Les’s picture stand out, ‘with the wooden walkway drawing the eye in and giving that combination of the gentle touch of man in a wild landscape.’

The runner up was Hannah Slater’s photograph of Birling Gap, a joyous picture that encapsulates the fun of a family day out.

The runner-up was this picture of Birling Gap, East Sussex © Hannah Slater

The runner-up was this picture of Birling Gap, East Sussex © Hannah Slater

You can see the other shortlisted pictures below, and find out more about the competition at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/photography-competition.  The National Trust have already confirmed it’ll run again next year — something to bear in mind if you happen to get a great picture while out an about at one of their locations in the next few months.


Best of the rest: The shortlisted pictures from the National Trust Handbook photography competition

Botallack Mine Cornwall © Edyta Rice

Botallack Mine Cornwall © Edyta Rice


Castle Ward, County Down. © Minchen Liang

Castle Ward, County Down. © Minchen Liang


Dockey Wood, Ashridge, Hertfordshire © Julie Thomas

Dockey Wood, Ashridge, Hertfordshire © Julie Thomas


Giants Causeway © Glenn Miles

Giants Causeway © Glenn Miles


Buttermere Lake District © Chris Cathern

Buttermere Lake District © Chris Cathern


Carnedd Dafydd, Snowdonia © Toby Cross

Carnedd Dafydd, Snowdonia © Toby Cross


Footpath to Bowfell Lake District © Jeanie Collinson

Footpath to Bowfell Lake District © Jeanie Collinson


Knoll Beach, Studland, Dorset © Sarah Gibson

Knoll Beach, Studland, Dorset © Sarah Gibson


Knoll Beach, Studland, Dorset © Sarah Gibson

Knoll Beach, Studland, Dorset © Sarah Gibson


Lundy Island Devon © Gabriel Gilson

Lundy Island Devon © Gabriel Gilson


Nymans West Sussex © Jason Reid

Nymans, West Sussex © Jason Reid


Tyntesfield Somerset © Edward Gorochowski

Tyntesfield Somerset © Edward Gorochowski


Tyntesfield Somerset© Zsofia Polos

Tyntesfield Somerset© Zsofia Polos


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