Photo of the Milky Way rising over Tudor ruins wins national park photography award

A “hauntingly beautiful” photo of the Milky Way rising above the ruins of a Tudor mansion has won top prize in the South Downs National Park astrophotography competition.

This image, taken by Richard Murray from Waterlooville, Hampshire, of a night view of the Cowdray ruins in Midhurst, West Sussex, won the top prize in a competition that drew 60 entries.

In September 1793, while it was being repaired and refurbished in preparation for the impending marriage of the 8th Viscount Montague, a devastating fire destroyed much of the property, leaving a pile of rubble. dilapidated.

The competition honors the national park’s status as one of the only 20 International Dark Sky Reserves in the world, recognizing the area as one of the best places globally for stargazing.

South Downs ranger leader Dan Oakley said of the winning photo: “It’s a clearly framed photograph and shows what the landscape would have been like a few centuries ago.

“It was a great little chocolate box photo of the South Downs.”

Mr Murray, £100 prizewinner, said: “We were fortunate to have clear skies and I was lucky enough to be able to capture this picture of the Milky Way rising behind the Cowdray wreckage.

“It proves that you don’t have to go too far from town to enjoy the spectacular dark skies that South Downs National Park has to offer.

“The national park is full of beautiful landscapes and buildings to photograph and is truly a special part of the UK, day and night.”

Second place in the main category was this shot of the moon rising behind the Beachy Head lighthouse, near Eastbourne, taken by Andrew Parker, who won the £75 prize.


Andrew Parker’s Beachy Head moonrise won runner-up in the South Downs Dark Skyscapes competition (Andrew Parker/South Downs National Park/PA Wire)

Mr Parker, who lives in south-east London, said: “Despite traveling across the country to pursue my interests in landscape and astrophotography, I still go to the South Downs more than most. The sky around Birling Gap is amazing.”

The judges were impressed with this photograph of a toad crossing the street near Cuckmere Haven, in East Sussex, by Peter Brooks from Eastbourne, who won £100.


Toad In The Road by Peter Brooks wins South Downs Nature at Night (Peter Brooks/South Downs National Park/PA Wire)

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Mr Oakley said: “I like this image because it’s a little bit different. It summarizes the ‘nature at night’ theme and really highlights the fragility of nature.”

Mr Brooks said: ‘I took this particular photo to highlight the dangers the toads face when migrating back to their breeding ponds. Photo of the Milky Way rising over Tudor ruins wins national park photography award

Fry Electronics Team

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