Earth Photo competition seeks images of world’s changing forests

Earth Photo competition seeks images of world’s changing forests

In celebration of Earth Day 2019, Forestry England and the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) are calling on aspiring and professional photographers alike to submit their images of what a changing forest means to them.

‘Changing Forests’ is the brand new category in Earth Photo, the innovative competition and exhibition which enables a better understanding of the world around us through the complementary disciplines of the Environment and Geography. The aim of the new category is to reveal the stories the world’s forests have to tell today, while teasing out the image’s back story.

Dr Thomas Smith, Assistant Professor in Environmental Geography from London School of Economics, said: "Capturing Earth's changing forests through photography is both important and challenging. Timing can be crucial; change can occur in the blink of an eye; with the violence of the chainsaw, or the catastrophic use of fire to clear land for agriculture. Slower changes to our forests are often difficult for us to perceive and challenging to convey in a snapshot. Chronic forest dieback due to drought, disease and invasive species, as well as afforestation efforts for climate change mitigation, requires an innovative photographic imagination to capture and communicate these processes effectively."

Climate change is the major challenge of our time and poses a serious threat to trees, forests and landscapes around the world. At the same time, extensive work is underway in different parts of the globe to explore and understand ways of making forests more resilient and sustainable in the face of a changing climate.

Dr Andrew Stringer, Forestry England’s Head of Environment & Forest Planning, said: “Although the challenges that forests face from climate change are undeniable, huge strides have been made in the past decades to improve our understanding of forests and forest ecology. Forestry England uses a range of tree species in diverse locations to understand how they fare in different conditions, which, once planted, are monitored for decades to come. Planting a greater diversity of species and managing forests sustainably ensures they will remain healthy and teeming with wildlife for future generations to enjoy.”

Environmental Geographer Professor Mathias Disney of University College London’s Department of Geography said: "We all know how important the world's forests are, but they are facing unprecedented pressures and changes. Ensuring we can measure and understand these changes is vital to understanding how we can protect these vital ecosystems in the coming years."

Alongside Changing Forests, People, Place and Nature are the categories for the Earth Photo competition. Earth Photo will be a free exhibition presented to audiences at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), London from 6 July to 22 August 2019 and on a national tour to three of Forestry England forests, beginning with Grizedale Forest in Cumbria from 11 October 2019 until 20 January 2020.

Images can be submitted until 6 May 2019. For more information on the competition and how to submit your images visit the Earth Photo website.


Notes to Editor

  1. Download images for use here: – Please credit the names that appear in photo titles.
  2. Forestry England manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, with over 230 million visits per year. As England’s largest land manager, we shape landscapes and are enhancing forests for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and businesses to grow. For more information visit Forestry England is an agency of the Forestry Commission.
  3. The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the UK’s learned Society and professional body for geography and geographers. It has charitable status and is also a membership organisation with over 16,000 Fellows and Members. The Society is one of the largest – and recognised as the most active – scholarly geographical societies in the world.

Photography has been at the heart of the Society’s work for over 130 years, led by John Thomson, FRGS, who was the first photo-journalist in modern times, a photographer working in a documentary style and bringing awareness of the people and places of the Far East, and later street London, to nineteenth century audiences for the first time. Earth Photo will draw on the Society’s photographic heritage of over 500,000 images held within its Collections, from the earliest daguerreotype image of 1851 to the latest work by contemporary photographers.

  1. Parker Harris is an independent organisation creating, managing and promoting visual art projects. Established in 1990 Parker Harris run some of the largest and longest running art projects in the UK in partnership with organisations which include trusts, foundations and corporates. Parker Harris have been advisors to the Natural History Museum on projects including the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and on press, marketing and audience development and have been project managers of the Environmental Photographer of the Year. Parker Harris will project manage and lead on press and marketing for Earth Photo, working closely with the project partners and sponsor.

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