The National Rural Network is delighted to announce the two winning photographs for our 2019 Biodiversity Photo Competition “Protecting Habitats, Preserving our Future”.

Congratulations to 1st place: Mary Brennan, Co. Kilkenny.

“Temporary Pond, Jenkinstown”

Temporary Pond

This image was selected because ponds are a particularly good habitat for an array of plants and wildlife such as ducks, frogs, hedgehogs, birds and even colourful insects such as butterflies and dragonflies.  In recent decades, land management has caused a reduction in the quantity of ponds throughout the country. Ponds provide a unique ecosystem.  Ponds are a habitat that is threatened and one that is important to protect.

Congratulations to 2nd place: Ruth Alfred, Co Limerick.

 “Birds eat berries”

Birds eat berries

“Birds eat berries” was selected because it depicts how important hedgerows are as a food source. The photograph illustrates a mother blackbird feeding her young with berries from the hedge. Ruth described how the mother blackbird would disappear into the hedge for a few moments only to reappear with berries in her beak, while the young bird waited on the wall for her return.

Both winning entries demonstrate measures that encourage biodiversity. There are steps everyone can do which will help enhance biodiversity in their locality. The importance of a good quality hedgerow, that is managed correctly for biodiversity, allowing it to flower and fruit, provides a vital feed source and place of security or shelter for wildlife. Creating ponds will attract wildlife and in turn will become a vibrant habitat and feed source where species can thrive.

The National Rural Network would like to thank all who supported our competition over the last few weeks. All images are ready to view on our website and on Flickr.

Watch our Biodiversity Competition video below: