WHILST following Covid rules people are being encouraged to get out and photograph the natural world close to home.

Environmental Audit Committee Chairman and Ludlow MP, Philip Dunne, is urging members of the public to send in photos that capture British nature.

The winning photo will be used as the front cover of the Committee’s report to Government, due to be published in the Spring, on how to secure the health of Biodiversity and Ecosystems.

Biodiversity is continuing to decline faster now than at any time in human history, with an estimated one million animal and plant species threatened with extinction around the world. The fragile state of biodiversity has been brought into sharper focus in recent months with the documentaries by Sir David Attenborough and fears that the UK will fail to meet biodiversity targets.

The committee is keen to maintain this public interest and to invite members of the public to submit their own photographs of what they feel symbolises British nature. The competition may encourage some to undertake a new photography expedition when restrictions ease over the coming months, or a submission may be a photo that has been sitting in a camera roll for some time.

“We are incredibly fortunate in the UK that we have unique wildlife on our doorsteps – and it doesn’t matter where in the UK you are or what season we’re in,” said Mr Dunne.

But our British wildlife faces a very uncertain future, with many species threatened with extinction.

“It’s not only a very sad state of affairs – some of the animals and plants that I remember seeing regularly when I was a child are now scarce – but there are severe repercussions for humans if we do not address declining biodiversity. The food we eat and the air we breathe depends on it.

“We heard during evidence sessions of the importance of healthy ecosystems, and we are in a time of reckoning where we must adapt and put nature in recovery. With the Government setting bold environmental ambitions, we are hoping our report will be very carefully considered by Ministers. Our report will be incomplete without photographs to illustrate just how wonderful British nature is.

“We have some fantastic wildlife photographers in south Shropshire. I really hope they will come forward with some of their amazing photographs to help illustrate this important report into Biodiversity in the UK.”

The competition closes on March 12, before the finalists are selected by the Committee and winner chosen by Chairman Philip Dunne.

Runners up will have their photographs featured within the report alongside the Committee’s recommendations for how to best protect the future of biodiversity in the UK.

Photographers must follow current covid-19 guidelines and restrictions and can submit a photo you have taken previously provided they hold the copyright.