Photo competition

At a special presentation hosted by Mannings Heath Estate on 17th July, the winners of the inaugural CarbonBusters  ‘Sustainability Photo Competition’ were announced and the winner presented with a cheque for £100 kindly sponsored by the Parish Community Group.

A full review and all the winning photos are in the August issue click here

We are delighted to announce the winner of our Sustainability Photo Competition:
 “Protecting, Celebrating or Raising Awareness of our Environment”.

Morgan Van Yperen stunned us with her picture of one of the Parishes’ white deer which, some consider a pest and others consider a beautiful part of nature. It is known that deer have a negative impact on the environment as they graze, trample and eat the shoots of emerging trees and shrubs and their populations need to be managed as they no longer have any natural predators. However, deer do also keep vegetation down, disperse seeds and serve as prey for secondary and tertiary producers. Whatever your views on deer, we felt that that the image and text Morgan wrote captures the essence of what some perceive to be a key part of our natural environment in the Parish of Nuthurst and what could be more apt than for this particular deer to be snapped on The Mannings Health Golf Course! .

‘Deery Me’

‘To me, this photo is a reminder of how lucky I am to live in the local area, to have access to wild spaces and to be able to see such beautiful wildlife in an age where it’s disappearing at such an alarming rate. Seeing deer up close is a magical experience, and it’s something that I hope everyone can experience, for generations to come, so it’s also a reminder that we need to do all we can to preserve our green spaces and the wonderful creatures that live within them.’

 Photo taken on Mannings Heath Golf Club by Morgan Van Yperen

Our runner up photo ‘Clarity’ was taken by Charlotte Basset-Chan. It demonstrates the natural beauty all around us and her wording aptly captures the sad and unpleasant parts of our surroundings.


‘Close to its source, this stream has a delightful purity and clarity.  I sat by its bank for nearly an hour on one of the first rain-free days of the spring listening to the birdsong, and felt a great sense of peace.  Later I followed the stream towards the carpark, and as it widened it began to emit the smell of sewage – a grim reminder that even our idyllic woods are touched with environmental corruption.’  

Taken at Roosthole in early May 2023 by Charlotte Bassett-Chan

Congratulations to Morgan and Charlotte and well done and thank you to all our other entrants whose photos are shown below.

We received a number of beautiful, thought-provoking entries which caused some interesting discussion amongst the judging panel. What it did reinforce is how beautiful, diverse, and wonderful our Parish is and that we need to do all we can to protect and improve it for future generations and to enjoy it when we can. From the flora and fauna to the stunning views over landscaped countryside, rolling hills merging into lush green forests, they are all part of what makes our Parish special so get out there and enjoy it!

Ann Webber – Mother Nature in all her glory.

This was taken early one morning. The beauty and calmness of the early morning mist’ Ann Webber, Mannings Heath

Benvy Wong – ‘Vixen’



‘Sparrowhawk was taken on 22 Feb this year on the garden hedge in Maplehurst, and I was lucky to get the shot on my phone.’

‘The second is of a vixen in the garden taken early April in the same place.’ 

Charlotte Bassett- Chan – ‘Renaissance’

‘Renaissance’ – Last year’s weather was hard in the UK, with extreme heat, drought, and then a very cold winter.  Walking through Roosthole in early May after weeks of unremitting rain I was struck by the joyfulness of these beech leaves – in the face of all the harm we as a species are doing, nature is so resilient.’ Taken at Roosthole in May 2023

Fiona Williams (Carbon Busters and not eligible for the competition)

‘I Am Not A Weed’

Photograph taken in Woodlands Walk Field on 14th May 2023 by Fiona Williams

Title – I am NOT a weed

‘ Always struck by the natural beauty in nature, why do we consider a dandelion a weed when it has been used globally as a HERB for centuries for cures.’

‘The whole plant is edible! Dandelion root can be dried and roasted and used as a drink (Dandelion and Burdock) or a substitute for coffee or eaten like a turnip. Young dandelion leaves are more nutritious than many leafy greens and can be used on pizza, salad, or pesto. Mature leaves can be added to soups or stews and the flower can be added to a salad or turned into wine! Medicinally, it has been used to detoxify the body to support healthy hepatic function (liver & kidneys), it is used as a diuretic. Holistically, they have been used for stomach upsets, to improve the skin and others such as heartburn, mastitis, inflammation and hormonal imbalance. They are researching its effectiveness in normalising blood sugar and cholesterol.

Why do they turn up in random places…I was always told it was where the soil needs healing. They can spread widely over bare soil; they have long taproots that push through dry cracked earth helping to break it up creating channels for air and water to penetrate and allows easier access for earthworms to do their work. The dandelion draws calcium, iron and potassium from deep in the earth into their leaves so when they die and decompose, they leave behind mineral rich organic matter…also great to add into your compost.

Dandelions are a favourite for bees and butterflies and other pollinators and for birds and other wildlife that feed on their seeds and leaves…also a favourite of the guineapig and chickens so they are really important in encouraging biodiversity.

Sounds like I’m trying to save them from Room 101 but we must have all enjoyed blowing the seeds off a dandelion head, can you do it in one puff?’

Morgan Van Yperen – ‘Janedoe’

‘To me, these photos are a reminder of how lucky I am to live in the local area, to have access to wild spaces and to be able to see such beautiful wildlife in an age where it’s disappearing at such an alarming rate. Seeing deer up close is a magical experience, and it’s something that I hope everyone can experience, for generations to come, so it’s also a reminder that we need to do all we can to preserve our green spaces and the wonderful creatures that live within them.’

Paul Knot  – ‘Repeating Beauty’

‘Breath Of Fresh Air’

‘Both photos were taken by the pond at the top of Jamesland Farm, Copsale’
‘The first photo is called ‘Repeating Beauty’
This shows the early purple orchids that we are lucky to see every year…. The photo captures them next to an oak tree and makes me wonder how many springs these two natural beauties have seen together…. Year after year’
‘The second photo is called ‘Breath Of Fresh Air’.  I love the way the sun shines through the new leaves on the oak tree, if you look very closely in the distance you can see one of our sheep at the gate… it says spring and our natural world at its best ‘

Rachel Noel – (Carbon Busters and  not eligible for the competition)

‘Open Your Eyes!’

‘Whilst walking around the field, which is currently occupied by avariety of stunning long grasses, I was amazed at the abundance of wildlife, particularly butterflies and all kinds of insects and birds. I was so busy looking up, I failed to look down until my son brought my attention to several tiny toads crossing the grass from one side of the trodden path to the other. The more we looked, the more we found, they were on both sides of the field. The tiny toadlets were only the size of my little fingernail but it highlighted to me just how valuable grassland is for all kinds of animals. We don’t have to go far to find the most amazing sights, I spent ages just with my camera phone trying to get the perfect picture and this does not do these tiny, beautiful creatures justice. They are brilliant for eating all kinds of garden pests such as insect larvae,  slugs and snails so they are great for the garden. They spend much of their adult life out of water and it is crucial that there are transitional areas between water and dry land to enable them to survive. These areas such as the farmers field in Mannings Heath provide a vital habitat in which the new young toadlets and older adults can survive. ‘

Location: The farmers field across the A281 Mannings Heath

Sibella Bates  – ‘Footpath – Finches Wood’

‘Bluebells In Spring Wood’

‘The first photo is a view from the footpath West of Nuthurst across Finches Wood. Taken 10th May which felt like the first time since September there was a proper sunny day. Maybe the world wasn’t so bad after all! ‘

‘The second pic is the bluebells in Spring Wood behind Nuthurst a few days earlier. It’s impossible to do bluebells justice photographically but both these pictures epitomise for me the springtime spirit of optimism abounding. ‘

Sibella Bates

Toni Bradnum‘Ready To Go’

Photograph taken on 16 June 2023  under Logia at Meadow Cottage, Nuthurst.

‘All wildlife is precious, and Blackbirds do a great deal in the garden keeping those pesky bugs and caterpillars at bay, helping to balance nature. Four beautiful Blackbirds, the nest was built in a couple of days and Mrs Blackbird worked tirelessly to feed them. A very successful brood.’

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