Enthusiastic amateur photographers capture amazing wildlife images in the great outdoors – or from their kitchen windows during lockdown!

As part of its silver anniversary celebrations, employment website Countryside Jobs Service (CJS) ran a photography competition to highlight the marvellous sights encountered on a daily basis by enthusiastic amateur photographers working in the countryside and conservation sector.

Overall winner was Marco McGinty from Largs, Ayrshire, with his photo of a bee on gorse flowers (above). Runner up was Val Gall, from Bridge of Cally, Perthshire, with her intimate portrait of a Red Deer stag stopping for a drink in a river. Adrian Dangerfield from Ilminster, Somerset and John Jones from Lancaster both received Highly Commended awards while Kim Bliss from Crawley, West Sussex took the Readers’ Choice award.

The judges were looking for real photos taken by genuine countryside workers illustrating the highs and lows of countryside careers to showcase all the various elements of life and work in the countryside and wildlife sectors, acting as an eye opener for many readers considering a career ‘working with animals’ or getting a ‘job outdoors’.

The competition provided a chance to share those images with others who have an interest but little practical experience or knowledge of working in the countryside and outdoor sector. It was designed to encourage people to go out, take time to look for the unexpected, the hidden and the lovely and in so doing reconnect with the natural world all around us.

The competition attracted hundreds of incredible photos with the judges selecting one themed winner each month and one overall winner. Every month the number and quality of the photos received increased. Like so many other things, the competition was affected by the coronavirus pandemic and CJS opted to pause the competition between March and May, relaunching with revised, Covid-safe themes of “From my Window” and “Hidden Gems”.

During August, CJS readers voted for their favourite image from a shortlist of 32 images for the Readers’ Choice award. 

CJS Editor Kerryn Humphreys said: “It's been incredible to see all the wonderful photos and we feel very privileged to have been able to share them.  Each month picking just one winner from all the entries was a huge undertaking, after narrowing it down to a shortlist of seven we ended up voting for first and second places using a CJS devised system of proportional representation!”

A spokesperson for The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers said: “We are delighted to be involved with the Countryside Jobs Service Photography Competition, to celebrate its 25th birthday. We love to see nature and wildlife captured through the medium of photography to showcase the beautiful world we live in.”

Faye Clifton, Sales and Marketing Manager with June Monthly Winner sponsors, Green&Blue said: "We were delighted to be involved with the Countryside Jobs photo competition. During these strange times, when nature has provided so much solace and comfort for so many of us, it's wonderful to see this interpreted and reflected in photography and we would strongly recommend pouring a coffee and losing yourself in the competition gallery for ten minutes!”

See all the winning photos at

Press Release here

Complete list of winners together with judges’ comments here