Just like last year, the many talented photographers who entered the DofE Quantock Hills OANB photography competition made the judging very hard.  The AONB apologises for the delay in judging and subsequent exhibition, but snow and ice played havoc with proceedings.

Chris Edwards and Katy Coate (both Quantock Hills AONB), Jeff Brown from Duke of Edinburgh Award and Matt Bowen from Taunton Leisure convened at Fyne Court in late March and spent the morning making the difficult decisions. With over 100 images to choose from, the sticky notes were flying around the old library to identify the most striking. This year the AONB had four categories, two with straight winners and two that had so many entries of such quality that the judges chose winners and two runners up for each. Here are the winners and runners up in each category.

Best Landscape Image (top) was won by Sally Pryde with her image Sunset at Bicknoller Post

Runners up were Ian Sherlock with his view over Quantock Vale towards the Brendons and Dawn Mahoney with her image taken at Kilve called ‘Time to Reflect’.

Best Expedition Image was won by Robert Blake School.

Best image in the ‘Loving the Great Outdoors’ category went to Dawn Mahoney for her ‘Quantock Fling’ image. Runners up were Marcin Jankowski’s mountain biking image from Wills Neck and Kimberly Gray’s pony and toddler image.

Best Film was won by James Marshall with his atmospheric film talking about the Quantock Hills and its importance to him.

AONB Manager, Chris Edwards, said, “This year’s judging was even harder than last year – the quality is so high and peoples’ desire to capture the spectacular beauty of the Quantocks along with more intimate, smaller-scale images of moments and detail is inspiring. I thank all the entrants for again reminding us why it is so important to protect and enhance the natural beauty of these hills.”

Winners will receive prizes from Taunton Leisure and have their winning image printed onto a canvas; runners up will also receive their image on a canvas. All the images on show in the music room at Fyne Court, the beautiful National Trust property at Broomfield, until this Saturday. Entry is free so come and make a day of it, why not take a walk around Fyne Court’s extensive grounds and treat yourself to a cake from the café while you’re there.



People in Minehead with an interest in seeing the resort’s visitor appeal strengthened have the chance to help shape the Enterprising Minehead project.

The aim during the next phase is to enhance the Eastern Esplanade – the section near the West Somerset Railway terminus – with ideas starting to come forward.

Minehead Coastal Communities Team (MCCT) – the organisation that has the funding to spend – is now inviting people to come forward and have their say before any hard and fast decisions are made.

An initial meeting has been held with community groups’ representatives when some positive ideas were tabled – now the consultation is being opened up more widely.

Mood boards featuring concepts that could be brought to life will be on show at Minehead Tourist Information Centre (TIC), along with a questionnaire for feedback and suggestions.

The consultation will run from 10-15 April and the TIC’s opening hours are: Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 4pm and Sunday 11am – 4pm.

“I really hope people will come along, share their ideas and get involved. A tremendous amount of hard work went in to winning the funding in the face of some strong competition.

“This is a once-in-a-generation chance to harness that funding and make it work hard for the benefit of Minehead, its residents and economy. We have great community spirit here in West Somerset – let’s see it in action,” said Cllr Roger Thomas, who chairs MCCT.

Details of the consultation and background information and images can be found on MCCT’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MineheadCCT