FOUR photographers have been rewarded for their efforts in capturing wildlife on camera.

The 2014 North East Wildlife Photography competition was organised by Tees Valley, Durham and Northumberland Wildlife Trusts, the Natural History Society of Northumbria and the Great North Museum: Hancock and attracted 1,174 entries.

Ted Ways, from Middlesbrough, entitled his photograph of a shag ‘The Stare’ and was the runner-up in the Wildlife in the Landscape category, winning a Speyside Wildlife Viewing Hide Workshop and a subscription to Birdwatching Magazine.

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He said: “Taken on Staple Island off the coast of Northumberland in June, this European Shag, was nesting with a colony of guillemot's in the back ground, when I spotted it looking directly at the camera, the Farnes are a wonderful place to do some wildlife photography.”

Tees Valley Wildlife Trust nature reserve Coatham Marsh featured in Lauren Forster’s close up of Common Blue Butterflies mating.

Taken during one of Lauren’s many visits to the reserve, she was the runner up in the young person’s category and won a pair of Opticron binoculars.

Lauren, from Guisborough, said: “I am over the moon to be a winner in the competition I came across the butterflies at the marsh and spent some time trying to get just the right shot and I was really pleased with my result.”

A new category for his year was Art in Nature with photos of flora and fauna composed for artistic effect.

Joyce Scott, from Hartburn, Stockton, took a picture of a Geranium Seedhead which was commended.

It shows to great effect how nature can be interpreted in an artistic way.

“I often walk in Coatham Woods, near Long Newton, Stockton especially in the early morning,” she said. “I had noticed the way that the geranium seedpods opened by rolling up to expose the seeds and this particular morning the light was just right to take a shot from a low angle to take advantage of the back lighting. The warm glow, and elegant structure was just the effect I was after.”

Other local successes included a close up of a spider by Terence Stares from Middlesbrough entitled ‘I only have eyes for you’ which was the runner-up in the Wildlife Portrait section. He won a Farne Islands tour.

The overall competition winner and 'Wildlife in Action' winner was Leslie Holburn with his photo of Coots Fighting.

Steve Ashton, People and Wildlife Manager at the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust who was one of the judges, said: “This year’s standard was incredibly high and it was a difficult job to sort through all the photographs and pick my favourites but I hope you agree the winners show off the North East wildlife and habitats at their best.”

To find out more about the work of the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, visit the website”.