A wildlife photography competition has been launched for hobby snappers in Hertfordshire.

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust has launched its 2021 Wild Snaps competition for budding wildlife photographers in the region.

The contest is an opportunity for wildlife lovers to get out their cameras and take ‘wild snaps’ of wildlife to be in with the chance of winning over £300 worth of photography equipment, kindly sponsored by Opticron.

Amateur photographers across Hertfordshire and Middlesex are asked to submit their best wildlife images.

Alicia Sanctuary, HMWT’s communications officer, said: “Photography is a fantastic way to connect with nature and we want to encourage more people to embrace the local wildlife around them.

"It is brilliant to have a community of people who regularly share photographs of wild places in Hertfordshire and Middlesex.

"That’s why we are running Wild Snaps for a second year, to give people a chance to show off some of the beautiful wild species and where they can be found across the county.”

The competition, launched on World Photography Day on August 19, is open until September 16.

The entries will be shortlisted and the winner will be chosen by public vote.

The winning image will be featured in Wildlife Matters, the Trust’s membership magazine.

The winner will also receive a £300 voucher for wildlife watching equipment and two runners-up will each receive a pair of Wildlife Trust branded binoculars, all thanks to competition sponsors Opticron.

Everyone who votes will be eligible to enter a prize draw to win an exclusive one-on-one Smartphone Safari, a smartphone photography masterclass, kindly sponsored by Jet Black Squares.

Filmmaker, photographer and presenter Hannah Stitfall, an ambassador for The Wildlife Trusts, said: “There’s nothing better than getting out into nature and embracing wildlife.

"Getting that snap of an animal you have been waiting to see is one of the best feelings. This competition for The Wildlife Trusts, who I love working with, is just a perfect combination.

"I’d encourage everyone with a camera, whether it’s a smartphone or a long lens, to go out and snap up photographs of wildlife and take part in this brilliant competition.”

The winner will be announced in October. For a full list of competition rules and to enter your images, visit hertswildlifetrust.org.uk/wildsnaps

Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust, which is based at Grebe House in St Albans, manages a network of nature reserves and sites in Herts, including Gobions Wood in Brookmans Park, Tewinbury, Lemsford Springs, Tewin Orchard, Hawkins Wood between Buntingford and Royston, Oughtonhead and Purwell Ninesprings in Hitchin.

The Trust also works with park owners Tarmac and with Herts County Council to manage Panshanger Park between Welwyn Garden City and Hertford.