NERC launches UK-wide photo competition to capture your #Enviromoment

6 September 2017

NERC is launching its Picture It: Your Environment photo competition, as part of the build up to our free interactive showcase event, UnEarthed, in Edinburgh (17-19 November).

Flower making girl sneeze

NERC wants people across the UK, from Shetland to Southampton, to submit images that showcase UK environmental science and its importance in everyday life. The subject of the photo could be wind turbine arrays, beautiful coastlines teeming with aquatic life, or even mould growing around an old window frame.

BBC presenter and geologist Professor Iain Stewart and Fiona Shields, Head of Photography at the Guardian, will be on the judging panel and helping shortlist images in three categories: 11-17 years old, 18 and over, and NERC (NERC head office and centre staff and NERC-funded academics).

Shortlisted pictures will be enlarged and on display at UnEarthed, NERC's free, interactive showcase at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh (17-19 November), where members of the public will vote on the overall winners.

A once-in-a-lifetime experience will be on offer to winners in each category: an expenses-paid invitation to the official naming ceremony of the RRS Sir David Attenborough, NERC's £200 million, state-of-the-art polar research ship.

Ned Garnett, Associate Director of Research at NERC and a keen amateur photographer, said:

The Picture It: Your Environment photo competition is a brilliant opportunity to showcase the UK's natural environment and inspire people to think about how environmental science impacts on their daily lives. The best of these images will be displayed at UnEarthed, our showcase event in Edinburgh, in November, where visitors will vote on their overall favourite. I am really looking forward to seeing all the submissions.

Fiona Shields has some expert advice for entrants:

People are used to capturing daily life with smartphones now; we want them to show us the best of their environment, whether rural or urban, in an unexpected and striking way. Think about strong geometry, which can lend powerful dynamic to a photo, with vivid blocks of colour and contrasted black and white. Cropping images can help make sense of a complex scene, and animated, non-choreographed shots are often more engaging than static images. Above all, consider focus!

Professor Iain Stewart said:

This competition is a chance for people to stop and consider the environment they pass through and interact with every day, whether it's coastal, urban, rural or even in the home. We want people in the UK to capture the effect their environment has on their daily lives, the features that are most fascinating, beautiful or nose-wrinkling.

The Picture It: Your Environment competition forms part of a series of engaging activities throughout 2017 to highlight the impact of NERC's research base and world-leading environmental science, as well as its important contribution to the UK economy.

To enter, visit the UnEarthed website - external link, and share your pictures on social media using #Enviromoment. Entries will close on 13 October 2017, and winners will be announced on 28 November.

Further information

Mary Goodchild
NERC media office
01793 411939


1. UnEarthed: Explore the world at your feet
Our environment shapes our lives - and how we live shapes our environment. We at NERC want to give the Scottish public the chance to see our world-class science up close. Join us as we dig up data to recover weather measurements made on Ben Nevis more than a hundred years ago or get snapping for our photo competition Picture It: Your Environment to capture your own #Enviromoment.

During our free interactive showcase, UnEarthed, at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh (17-19 November), families and adults can explore the tools used to make science happen and see the extraordinary work of our scientists. Visit our website for event details and more about the amazing environmental science at your feet. Find us on Facebook - external link - and Tweet @NERCscience - external link - using #UnEarthed2017.

2. NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences. Our work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. We coordinate some of the world's most exciting research projects, tackling major issues such as climate change, environmental influences on human health, the genetic make-up of life on Earth, and much more. NERC is a non-departmental public body. We receive around £330 million of annual funding from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).