This Year’s British Wildlife Photography Awards Revels in Oceanic Journeys and Flamboyant Courtships — Colossal

March 15, 2024 - Art


#United Kingdom

March 14, 2024

Kate Mothes

a view of a soccer ball floating in the water, with a view below the surface of dozens of barnacles in a cluster

Ryan Stalker, “Ocean Drifter.” British Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2024 and Winner of Coast & Marine category. Goose barnacles (Thoracica), Portland, Dorset, England. All images © the photographers and British Wildlife Photographer of the Year, shared with permission

From urban scavengers to dramatic standoffs to microscopic molds, the winning images of the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2024 exhibit the beauty, spectacle, and fragile balance of the isles’ diverse animals and habitats. The final selection emerged from more than 14,000 submissions, featuring a wide variety of species, terrains, and behavior.

The overall winner, “Ocean Drifter” by Ryan Stalker, features a soccer ball floating in the water with dozens of goose barnacles attached to the bottom. An unlikely—and unnatural—host for the creatures, the object landed on the shore in Dorset after making a journey across the Atlantic Ocean.

“Goose barnacles are not native to the U.K. but can wash up on our shores during powerful Atlantic storms,” Stalker says. Curious about the ball’s journey, Stalker captured an example of the way human negligence or waste can accommodate potentially invasive species, which can have profound impacts on delicate ecosystems.

We’ve shared several more of our favorites here, but you can explore many more forays into the British wilderness on the competition’s website, where a coffee table book of the current collection is available for purchase. BWPA is also currently open for entries for the 2025 contest through June 2.


a hare looks straight ahead in a golden field

Spencer Burrows, “Sunrise Hare.” Runner-up for Animal Portraits category. Brown hare (Lepus europaeus), Nottinghamshire, England

two silhouetted great crested grebes perform a courtship ritual

Matthew Glover, “Dancing in the Dark.” Runner-up for Animal Behaviour category. Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Killingworth, North Tyneside, England

a rabbit munches on some green grass in a field

Steven Allcock, “The Crop Thief.” Runner-up in the Habitat category, Brown hare (Lepus europaeus), Nantwich Cheshire, England

a bee and a spider interact on the underside of a daisy against a blue sky

Lucien Harris, “Daisy Danger.” Runner-up for Hidden Britain category, Flower crab spider (Misumena vatia) and Honey bee (Apis mellifera), Lee Mill, Devon, England

tiny slime mold photographed against a pink background

Jason McCombe, “Tiny Forest Balloons.” Winner, Botanical Britain category. Slime mould (Comatricha nigra), Essex, England

A common blue butterfly on a piece of grass with two more blurred in the background against a yellow backdrop

Ross Hoddinott, “Three’s a Crowd.” Winnter, Hidden Britain category. Common blue butterflies (Polyommatus icarus), Vealand Farm, Devon, England

a fox wanders near a fence in an urban area

Simon Withyman, “Day Walker.” Winner, Urban Wildlife category., Red fox (Vulpes vulpes), Bristol, England

the silhouette of a coot running across the water of a misty pond

Max Wood, “Running on Water.” RSPB Young British Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023 and winner of 15-17 Years category. Coot (Fulica atra), Frensham Little Pond, Surrey, England

#United Kingdom


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