Back from the Brink film and photography competition winners announced

Hundreds of entries were received from amateur filmmakers and photographers throughout the UK. 

Back from the Brink put a call-out to the UK public for innovative films and inspiring images that entertain, raise awareness, or celebrate the beauty of our precious wildlife and landscapes. The judges were not disappointed with the public's response and were impressed by the high standard of entries in this competition. It proved very difficult to choose both category and overall winners, but those chosen stood out due to their uniqueness or how they were executed. 

Film winners

Rescue to Release: A Journey in 360º Virtual Reality – Rose Summers                      
The UK coastline is home to 40% of global grey seal population – an animal that is in fact rarer than the African elephant. Pupping season is a key time for ensuring this population continues to thrive, so during the autumn and winter months the sanctuary team works tirelessly to give injured, ill and abandoned pups a second chance at a life in the wild. Designed to be viewed in a VR headset, this 360º film allows audiences to join nature presenter Sophie Pavelle behind the scenes of the sanctuary hospital where they can meet some of it's charismatic patients face to face and learn about a pup's journey to recovery from the centre of the action.  

WATCH HERE:         

Toads on the Roads – Yasmine Ellis                          
The annual toad migration brings some peculiar friends right underneath our noses... this film shares the quests many amphibians undertake in order to find love but how there can be disastrous consequences as they have to cross our roads to get to the ponds. Luckily, for some, the toad patrol are on their way...                  


Our Magical Meadow – Becca Barry
‘Our Magical Meadow’ is a film about the meadow at East Ruston Infant School. It features, the thoughts and drawings of some of the children at the school. The audio is unscripted and unrehearsed, recorded on location in the meadow.

The children learn and play in the wildflower meadow every week, all year round and as a result are deeply connected to the wildlife in their local area and the changing seasons. Over this year, we saw deer, pheasants, buzzards, lizards, slow worms, rabbits and countless bugs and butterflies. The children have surveyed the diversity of wildflowers, studied the trees through the seasons and planted native trees. They develop confidence and curiosity through tree climbing, imaginative play, tool use and other outdoor activities. As a teacher, I have not encountered somewhere quite like the meadow before and it constantly fills me with joy to be able to work there.


How to build an insect hotel - Xander Johnston
Xander shares how to build yourself an insect hotel to help nature thrive in our garden.


Dormice - Conserving Brampton's Indicator – Eleanor Bladon
The hazel dormouse is one of the UK's most iconic mammals - with their bright eyes and bushy tails they steal the hearts of anyone who meets them. But they are threatened in the UK and their numbers have been declining for at least 100 years. So what can we do to help them?

For the last few months I have been following and talking to the staff and volunteers at the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire and the People's Trust for Endangered Species to find out more about the first ever dormouse reintroduction project at Brampton Wood, where 25 years on the population is thriving.

Come with me and find out what it takes to reintroduce dormice, maintain their habitat and monitor their populations. We might even meet some of the fuzzy little icons themselves! 


Brilliant British Botany – Joshua Styles
Earlier in 2018 I made a film documenting peculiar plants featuring parasites, orchids and certain carnivorous vascular plant taxa. The documentary gives descriptions of plants, details on ecology and habitats that makes them more understandable to the average member of the public, yet (hopefully) really intriguing in the same instance.

Winter Refuge – Sam Whitton
Discover the animals that seek refuge within caves during the most challenging season of the year. We shine a light on some of the weird creatures sharing the dark and uncover the fascinating adaptations they have evolved in these unique environments.
Sadly, changes in land use is slowly causing these dark spaces to disappear, so join us in the darkness as we explore the marvellous creatures within…

Nature’s Vanishing Trick – Lily Macfarlane
We are currently living through a biodiversity crash in Britain. Our skies and cities are emptying of wildlife, but the topic of our disappearing wildlife is not widely talked about, particularly among my friends and other young people. Because of this overlooked catastrophe, I decided to make a video about the biodiversity crisis to spread the word of it to other people, particularly teenagers like myself.

Britain currently ranks 189th out of 218 countries in terms of its biodiversity loss; despite our nostalgic image of the UK as being filled with wildflowers and birds, our reality is empty fields and quiet skies. However, because of shifting baseline syndrome, we are all letting Britain’s biodiversity crash fade from our minds, right when nature needs us most! With my conservation videos, I hope to make people aware of the loss occurring right now, and encourage people to take action themselves.

Photography winners

BIODIVERSITY - Toads by Paula Copper

SPACES FOR SPECIES - Safe Haven by Oscar Dewhurst

STORYTELLING - The Red Squirrel - A Road to Reintroduction by Joseph Gray

PEOPLE IN NATURE - Ralston Memorial Glen Coe by John Cuthbert


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If you’re looking for information about a species, try National Geographic Photo Ark or IUCN Red List