Winner captures ‘joy’ of the South Downs

WINNER Jump for Joy! by Rich Howorth
WINNER Jump for Joy! by Rich Howorth

A winner has been chosen for the South Downs National Park photography competition for his ‘inspiring’ shot.

The image capturing the simple joy of two young children running down a hill has been chosen as the winner of the South Downs National Park’s ‘Take nothing but pictures’ photo competition 2013.

‘Jump for Joy’, by Rich Howorth, beat more than 100 other entries to win first prize of £250.

Comedian and actor Hugh Dennis, who lives in the South Downs National Park and helped to judge the competition, said: “This photo really captures the excitement and giddiness of a precious childhood moment.

“We can all remember the sense of freedom of running down a hill, barely in control and this picture makes me want to run with them.”

The competition challenged amateur photographers to capture the stories of how people who love, live in, work in or visit the South Downs value and care for it.

The judges were asked to choose a winning image that not only captured a great story but also left them feeling inspired to get out and get involved.

Rich Howorth, the winning photographer from Brighton, said: “This is very exciting as it’s the first photo competition I’ve ever won.

“I’ve always loved being outdoors in nature but my six-year-old, Isla, wasn’t feeling the same when we dragged her out for a sponsored hike from Ditchling Beacon to Clayton with her Rainbows group on a grey morning.

“However she started to cheer up when we stopped for lunch and when she and my son Dylan saw the hill their natural instinct to charge down kicked in, leaving me behind to capture their descent.”

The team of judges, which also included Steve Watkins, editor of Outdoor Photography Magazine, Doug Jones, Member of the South Downs National Park Authority and Nick Heasman, Western Downs area manager for the South Downs National Park, awarded second place prize of £150 to a photograph of ‘Heart Smart walkers near Rowlands Castle’ by Ray West.

Third prize of £50 was awarded to ‘Free as a bird’ by John Wigley.

Steve Watkins, editor of Outdoor Photography Magazine, said: “I love the feeling of connection between the small boy excitedly waving and the balloon taking off.”