January 2024

A stunning photograph of a pied wagtail enjoying a bath in a puddle has been crowned overall winner in our Love your Lakes photo and video competition.

Daphne Wuenn, 50, from Charminster, took the winning shot at Longham Lakes near Bournemouth.

The higher level teaching assistant said: “I have been photographing wildlife for around four years. I like to go on walks and take a photo of whatever comes along. 

“I spotted the pied wagtail having a paddle in a puddle at Longham and I was able to go down the bank and take a photo of the moment just before he flew off.” 

We invited supporters and visitors to take a photo or video at one of our lakes across the south west with the aim to highlight the beauty and diversity of wildlife, capture the breath-taking landscapes, and share thrilling moments of adventure and exploration.

With over 450 entries, the judges were overwhelmed by the standard and quality of images supplied. Judges included professional photographer Gareth Williams and representatives from South West Lakes Trust and South West Water, who kindly sponsored the competition. 

Professional photographer Gareth Williams, from GRW Photography, said:

“Some of the amazing scenery captured around the lakes was breath-taking, and the detail in some of the wildlife photography was so sharp you could cut your finger on it. 
“The winning photo of a pied wagtail was a fantastic moment, in which it just seemed to be skipping across the water. The composition was great, with the layers of the skyline, grassy bank and the water making the bird pop out of the image – it almost looked three dimensional.”

Richard Jenner, Head of Web and Digital Engagement, and one of the judges from South West Water, said: 

“The photography competition is a wonderful way to celebrate the beautiful lakes we are blessed with in the south west.
“The standard of entries was impressive, demonstrating the passion people have for the natural environment.”

James Platts, Chief Executive for South West Lakes Trust, said: 

“The aim of the photo competition was to encourage visitors to engage with the natural environment and experience the range of available activities at lakes across Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Dorset.

“We were overwhelmed with the volume and quality of the photographs that were submitted, which illustrated the natural beauty and diversity of all the lakes.”

Winners were selected from four different categories and an exhibition of these images, along with a collection of shortlisted images are now on display at Roadford Lake Café, near Lifton, Devon.

Gary Oliver won the Stunning Scenery category with this beautiful image taken at Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor.


Jayne Connell won the Awesome Adventures category with this scenic shot from Siblyback Lake in Cornwall.

Lisa Holland, winner of the It’s Your Outdoors video category, created a short film that celebrated the beauty of Siblyback Lake, focusing on the array of wildlife found there.

Julie Granger with her photo from Roadford Lake, Devon, won the public vote on Facebook with 209 likes.

About us 

We believe engaging with the natural environment enables people to grow. Our reservoirs and lakes are home to many wonderful animals and boast important habitats and built historic sites. We pride ourselves on enabling people of all abilities to enjoy these special locations by providing access both on and off the water. It’s your outdoors – come and explore.