North-East river in the spotlight as photo contest winners revealed

THE winners have been announced of a photographic competition focusing on the beauty and heritage of a North-East river. The competition was organised by Groundwork North East and Cumbria, on behalf of the Discover Brightwater Partnership, and in association with The Northern Echo. Discover Brightwater is a GBP3.3m landscape partnership, celebrating life around the River Skerne, and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Forklift truck driver Rob Lambert lifted the adult prize with a winter drone picture looking down on the Haughton area of his hometown of Darlington, taken near the Five Arches Bridge. The junior winner was five-year-old Lyndon Mayos, who used a camera given to him as a present by his grandmother to take a picture of the Skerne, at Blackwell, after a family picnic in South Park, Darlington. Rob wins GBP200 to be spent at his favourite independent shop within the area covered by Discover Brightwater, while Lyndon wins GBP50 worth of shopping vouchers.

Rob, who took up photography as a hobby ten years ago, is a member of The Northern Echo Camera Club. He said: “There’s so much to photograph in this area and the competition was a nice way to showcase what an interesting part of the world we live in. Winning the competition will definitely encourage me to carry on taking pictures.”

Lyndon is a pupil at The Rydal Academy, in Darlington, and already has ambitions to be a professional photographer one day. His mum, Amy, said: “He’d like to open up a shop and put his pictures on display, so winning the competition has really encouraged him. He just loves taking pictures.”

Competition judge, Sarah Caldecott, chief photographer of The Northern Echo, said: “We had a really healthy number of entries, and it was lovely to see so many different views of the area. Rob and Lyndon were worthy winners.” Paul Black, programme manager for Discover Brightwater, added: “Our remit is to reveal, restore and celebrate life around the Skerne, so having a photographic competition was yet another way to get local people involved in appreciating the beauty and heritage of the river.

Congratulations to Rob and Lyndon.”

A gallery of competition entries can be viewed here.

A selection of the best pictures will also to be displayed at an exhibition at The Cornmill Centre, in Darlington, from Monday June 20 – Saturday June 25.