Category: Events

2021 5th Annual Photography Competition is now open!

Mission:

An exhibition of photography to highlight the wonderful nature and wild spaces on our doorstep, celebrating the important relationships between people and local wildlife in Ealing.

“Wake me up before you go go” by Steve Morey Overall 1st place winner 2020

Judging criteria:

We want to explore what nature and wildlife means to you. Everyone sees their surroundings through a different lens, so we want to celebrate diverse personal journeys and individual relationships with nature.

This is not purely a technical photography exhibition; equally if not more important is the portrayal of images that will engage the public with the natural world at a local level in Ealing.

We will judge each photograph impartially, without bias and keeping the mission of the exhibition in mind.

The judging panel consists of a panel of wildlife and/or photography enthusiasts, including members of Ealing Wildlife Group, Ealing Council Park Rangers as well as amateur and professional photographers.

Candy-Coloured fly by Sennen Powell 2020 2nd place Up Close and Personal

Categories:

  1. Community Conservation: Showcase people, projects or places coming together to care for, protect, enhance and conserve Ealing’s natural spaces. Or tell a story through an image that captures what community conservation means to you.  
  2. Abstract Nature: Capture the artistry and magic of nature, which could be the play of light and shadows creating fascinating patterns and shapes, or an abstract image exploring an object’s natural shape and form. This category is wide open so let your creativity go wild!
  3. Urban Nature: It’s incredible what creatures and life shows up in urban environment, so show us where the man-made environment meets the wild.
  4. Relationships with Nature: Capture the meaning of nature and wildlife to you and tell us why it makes your heart sing.
  5. Up Close and Personal: This can be taken literally if you’ve captured incredible detail, it can cover macro photography or you can interpret it as imaginatively as you wish.
  6. Young Wildlife Explorers: This is the under 16s category and seeks to celebrate our young wildlife enthusiasts and engage other young people with nature.
Mike Calden, 2017 1st Place Overall Winner

Submission guidelines:

  1. All submissions must be your own work and by entering you declare you have the legal rights to that image.
  2. Each entrant can submit up to three photographic images to be judged for competition
  3. Submission of entries does not guarantee inclusion in the exhibition.
  4. Entries will be eligible for a first, second and third award in 6 categories as well as placing in the overall winner category.
  5. You should specify which category you are entering; judges will appraise each entry using the categories as judging criteria but may award your photo in another category if deemed fit.
  6. High res original jpeg files to be submitted online at https://ealingwildlifegroup.com/2021-photo-competition/  by midnight on Wednesday 13th October 2021.  Maximum size of images is 15MB.
  7. Entries submitted after the deadline will not be eligible. Late entries cause extra admin and will NOT be accepted.
  8. Excessive manipulation of images is not allowed and will be grounds for disqualifying a photograph. 
    • Types of editing that are not allowed:
      • Excessive vignettes.
      • Artificial borders. 
      • Extreme changes to colour, saturation, light, or contrast.
      • Adding, moving or removing objects, animals or parts of animals, plants, people etc. 
      • The removal of dirt, highlights, backscatter, bubbles, debris and similar.
      • Composites.
      • Painting the foreground/painting out the background 
      • Anything that could be viewed as rendering the image a dishonest representation will be disqualified.  
    • Types of editing that are allowed:
      • Digital adjustments including tone and contrast, burning, dodging, cropping, sharpening, noise reduction, minor cleaning work (e.g. removal of sensor dust or scratches on transparencies/scans, removal of chromatic aberration),
      •  HDR, stitched panoramas, focus stacking are permitted providing that they do not deceive the viewer or misrepresent the reality of nature, or what was originally captured by the camera.
  9. No photos of staged wildlife shots, no captive animals, no dead creatures posed as if alive are allowed.
  10. Photographs must have been taken within the Borough of Ealing within the last 5 years; the exact location is to be included in the submission details.
  11. Please include your camera or phone details (e.g. ‘iPhone 10’ is fine, we have winners every year using phone cameras). List the settings if you wish so others who are interested in technical details can learn.
  12. Your description of the photo is just as important as the photo itself and is part of the judging criteria so please fill it in with more than just a name of species or subject and location. We want to hear the story of the photo and perhaps what it means to you. Failure to provide a good description that will be displayed with your entry may lose you significant points in judging.
  13. By submitting your photo to the competition you agree for EWG to share the image in promotional materials in future, with credit to you, the photographer.
  14. Winners will be announced at the opening of the exhibition in Walpole Park this Autumn and a list of winners will be posted online afterwards on Facebook and our website. We cannot guarantee all winners will be informed individually afterwards, and certainly not before the opening of the exhibition. 
  15. Political agendas are not factored into any part of the judging criteria. Photos win on their own merits.

Good Luck everyone! 🍀😊

Costons Lane Nature Reserve Update

Where we were in 2020, where we are now, and where we are going in 2021

Male Emperor Dragonfly

It’s been awhile and circumstances have slowed everything down but things are still moving forward at Costons Lane!

The weather and Thames Water have delayed the pond building until we get the go ahead from TW and it dries out a bit, but we have been working on other aspects of the project! The contractor has lifted the gate (so it opens now!) and will be building the platform for our building and the paths in the front half. Once this work is complete and restrictions lift, we can have volunteer days again! Our first task will be create the wildlife garden. And once the platform is complete we can order our beautiful green roofed recycled shipping container and finally give Ealing wildlife Group a home of its own!

Common Carder Bumblebee and a Bramble blossom

Of course the first priority of a nature reserve is to provide a place for nature to thrive and CLNR is no different. We had a bioblitz last summer, the first of many, to see what kind of plants and animals call it home. As expected most of what we found were insects and arachnids which is very good as the UK is catastrophically losing insect life! We had a few ladybirds, several species of tiny parasitic wasps, two kinds of grasshopper, leafhoppers, dock bugs, blue flea beetles, dragonflies, many different butterflies, bumblebees, honey bees, several spiders we don’t know what they are yet and a few wasp spiders which are always exciting! You can see the full gallery of critters below, the ones we know are named, if you think you can identify any of the others or think we may have got it wrong leave a comment below!

Wood Pigeon in a nest

As for birds we saw and heard robins, starlings, house sparrows, wood pigeons, and a red kite and sparrowhawk over head! On different occasions we have also heard wrens, green finches, and black caps as well! No amphibians or reptiles yet, but creating the pond should help the amphibians and of course we plan on building habitat for slow worms and if we are lucky maybe even grass snakes! The mammals we found were grey squirrels (of course,) a curious fox, and a few pipistrelle and soprano pipistrelle bats. We were expecting more bats but again the pond will create food and should attract more, most we saw seemed to be on their way to the river where food is plentiful.

Ranger Jon and some of our volunteers

Throughout the summer and early autumn we had several volunteer days, while it was still allowed and safe to do so. The first one was the biggest, with 30 volunteers and the help of the Ealing Park Rangers we moved enormous amount of rubbish out to the entrance to be picked up later! The area was originally an allotment site (abandoned 20 years ago because of the constant flooding) so much of the rubbish was bits and pieces of old allotment detritus. Unfortunately, it was also used as a fly tip so we found toilets, shopping trolleys, old footballs, shoes, batteries, you name it! Park rangers Jon and James cleared a path around the site with a giant mowing machine and later it will properly mulched. Our second two volunteer days were mostly clearing brambles from the area we plan to turn into a meadow to replace the meadow that will be lost when we build the pond. We still found and moved a tonne of rubbish we even found a bathtub! Then the lockdowns came and the weather turned and volunteering stopped for the winter.

Ranger James carving out the path

So where do we go from here? Anticipating the lockdown easing up in the spring, we will continue to have volunteer days, starting with the wildlife garden. And also exciting news, we have got two shipments of free trees from I Dig and the Woodland trust, so we will have to plan a planting scheme and get planting them out! Then working around the heavy works of pond building and path laying, we will build the bird hides and the pond dipping platform. I plan on setting up a spring bioblitz, as at Boles meadow I’d like to have a bioblitz in every season. After the large projects are complete, it will be different tasks, building and installing bird and bat boxes, different feeding stations, increasing the diversity of plants and micro habitats, and seeing how we could increase our connectivity to other green sites in the area. Later as the building is installed, we hope to build a deck around it to give us more space to teach, and have community events.

So that’s about it, progress is slower than we would like but not too bad considering the circumstances. As always, if you would like to volunteer, pop us am email at [email protected] and put volunteer in the subject heading and let us know what you would like to do. It may be a while until you hear anything back because of lockdown but hold tight and rest assured your help is very much wanted and appreciated! Hope to see you all in the spring!

EWG bat walks are back!

The summer is coming near to an end but with relaxing of lockdown rules we wanted to squeeze in a few bat walks before our little winged flittermouse friends retire for their annual hibernation in a few months time.

Paula Kirby, coordinator extraordinaire of our EWG Bat Pack has been busy researching and organising how best we can run some bat walks for you safely and in accordance with government guidelines, including track and trace.

Common Pipistrelle (handled under license. Photo: Sean McCormack).

So, here’s an initial list of dates you can sign up to. Please only take a place if you can definitely come, as we anticipate places will be in high demand. We never normally have a limit on numbers, and our last bat walk in 2019 led by Paula had over 90 people!

For these walks, we’ll be leading a maximum of 25 people, from only 5 households or social bubbles. All the details are in the form for each walk, so choose your preferred date, location and/or guide and get signed up. Again, please only sign up if you can make it.

Thanks, the Bat Pack!

Mon 17th – Paul Schifferes leading, Blondin Park: https://forms.gle/6tkbGHc4UFWknrzA9

Weds 19th – Paula Kirby leading, Walpole Park: https://forms.gle/PrpNDdPETQtDg5vb6

Fri 21st – Paul Schifferes leading, Gunnersbury Park: https://forms.gle/4Gi8t5E95HKsh3Xr9

Sat 22nd – Sean McCormack leading, Pitshanger Park : https://forms.gle/emZiTbc2LBHYhH4e8

Fri 28th – Sean McCormack leading, Northala Fields : https://forms.gle/fNkbxsMARgmJdM2F8

Sat 29th – Paula Kirby leading, Hanwell Viaduct: https://forms.gle/7FnxkdMMTKfkbLbm8

We may be adding more availability from some of our other bat pack members in due course, so look out on Facebook and our website events page for more announcements.

BioBlitz at Boles Meadow

Recording biodiversity on July 28th 2018 at our local conservation project, Boles Meadow with EWG volunteers, members and passersby. Some interesting discoveries crop up, and an impressive list of species is counted for year one of tracking the meadow’s wildlife.

Filmed and produced by Steve Haskett.

For more info on the purpose of BioBlitz events like this take a look at the National BioBlitz Association

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