This year’s Farmers Weekly‘s photo competition saw almost 6,000 entries from right across the British Isles, celebrating the natural beauty of our great industry.
The mammoth task of picking just one photo to crown the “winner of winners” was incredibly tough. With such a high standard of entries this year, we decided to reward a cash prize of £150 and £100 to the overall runner up and highly commended entries this year.
After careful consideration and much debate, the FW team chose three of the eight category winners as a final shortlist – with the £250 cash prize going to the top shot as our winner of winners.
The winner of the 2019 competition was a stand-out favourite for the majority of the judging team, with seconds and third place hotly contested.
Winner of winners
Sue Cross, Suffolk
The judges picked Sue Cross’s charming photo of a hare about to chow down on a ripening wheat ear as this year’s overall winner.
This wonderful shot has bags of character and is perfectly focused on the cheeky little subject. It was taken her arable farm near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.
After injuring her back last year, Sue became frustrated at not being as able to help out on the farm. To get out and motivated again, she took up photography as a hobby.
She loves capturing the wildlife around the family farm, with hares being her favourite subject to capture. She told Farmers Weekly she was “chuffed to bits” to have won the competition.
“I spend a lot of time with hares and have learned the field craft over the last year to get very close, which takes time and patience,” says Sue.
Once you eventually find a brown hare, she says, you are rewarded with their wonderful characters and this slightly comical shot was the result.
Katie Chippendale, Cumbria
Six years after she came runner-up in the Landscapes category of this competition, Katie Chippendale says she has been determined to win ever since.
This time she gets close to her ambition with this gritty, sweaty shearing photo taken in between wrapping fleeces at her dad’s dairy, beef and sheep farm in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria.
The judges were impressed by the detail captured in the beads of sweat rolling down shearer Shaun Hodgson’s head and arms.
They also loved the sheep in the background looking on with interest.
This has been a good year for Katie and her partner Richard, as their dream of having their own farm became a reality.
They’re based near Appleby, just seven miles from her parents’ farm where they keep sheep, Aberdeen Angus cattle and rear Wagyu calves.
Overall highly commended
Ruth Cockrem, North Yorkshire
This fun-filled shot of a lamb attempting to pounce on an unwitting pheasant was taken by Ruth Cockrem on her farm just outside Whitby.
Sheep farmer and part-time vet assistant Ruth had to lie down on her front and wait patiently to get this charming shot, while out checking the sheep one evening on the edge of the North York Moors.
“I just watched patiently to see what would happen and was really chuffed with the lamb jumping,” she says.
The judges loved the playful nature of this shot.
Ruth lives near Whitby with with her partner Pete Welford and their two daughters Eve and Amy, and loves spending time with her camera when not at work.