Parks and countryside newsletter

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Parks and Countryside [Autumn/Winter]

In this newsletter:

  • Festive greetings

  • Winners of our photo competition 2020

  • Protect our local wildlife

  • Site of the season

Festive greetings

From all of us in the Parks and Countryside service, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas and New Year.

Snowy scene, Lily Hill Park

Winners of our photo competition 2020

Gold, silver and bronze medals

The results are in for our photographic competition, where we asked amateur photographers to show how they're saying safe and inspired.

A total of 86 imaginative and inspiring photos were submitted by 22 photographers to the competition, which also celebrated The Year of the Garden. This made our sponsors' job very hard to choose our four winners, who will all receive The Lexicon gift cards.


The top spot and winner of an £80 gift card was Wendy Lamb from Bracknell for her photo 'Stay safe. 2020 a time to reflect'. The serene image features her daughter Eleanor, out enjoying the beautiful surroundings in isolation at Frost Folly open space in Warfield.

Winner: Stay safe. 2020 a time to reflect. By Wendy Lamb.


Second place

Masks drying on the line, by Andy Blair

Andy Blair's highly relevant and poignant photo of 'Masks drying on the line' won him a well deserved second place in our competition.


Third place

Southern Industrial, by Ray Hewitt

A picturesque photo of an urban green space in Bracknell, by Ray Hewitt, was awarded third place.


Most original photo category

Busy at home combining new and old hobbies, by Ruth Mason

Bracknell Camera Club were impressed by Ruth Mason's eye-catching and original image of natural arts and crafts at home, and made her a category winner.


Twelve photos also received commendations in our competition. The winning and commended entries can be viewed in our video slideshow.

Bracknell Forest Photo Competition partner logos 2020

Protect our local wildlife

We're frustrated and saddened to see that litter is still thoughtlessly being dumped in our parks and open spaces.

Discarded litter is not only unsightly and unhygienic, it's also a serious threat to animals. Everyday objects that seem perfectly safe to us, can become hazardous when found accidentally by animals.

We've listed three examples of rubbish and how it's bad for wildlife. The RSPCA provide further information on their website about how littering affects wildlife.

Plastic gloves in bird nest at Savernake Park


Face masks and gloves

These are vital tools in our defence against COVID-19, but when discarded in our parks, animals can get tangled in the ear loops or choke on the plastic. 

The photo taken by our rangers at Savernake Park shows the sad sight of plastic gloves in a bird's nest.

Plastic bags

Animals can climb inside and suffocate, or attempt to eat them and choke.

Glass bottles and metal cans

Animals are attracted by the smell of food and can get trapped in jars and tins.

Discarded broken glass and sharp metal is a threat to wildlife and can also harm beloved family pets including cats and dogs.

In the summer, glass also poses a fire risk in drier conditions, as it magnifies the sun's rays.

Disposing of litter in a bin

Protecting animals from harmful rubbish is easy. Dispose of your rubbish responsibly by recycling, reusing or putting it in the bin. 

Please cut up used PPE before binning it, so it's less likely to harm animals should it blow out of a bin or landfill.

Site of the season

Horseshoe Lake at sunset

Horseshoe Lake in Sandhurst is named after its horseshoe-shaped island.

Originally part of an extensive network of working gravel pits that have now been flooded, the lake occupies an attractive setting in the Blackwater Valley and is a popular venue for watersports, birdwatching and walking.

Soak up the winter scenery and enjoy a refreshing, socially distanced stroll around the lake, or along the River Blackwater. 

Social distancing in parks

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