Photo competition

South West Coast Path

Photographer of the Year 2020                                                              

Lee Searle

Lee Searle, a photographer from Penzance has been named the South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year 2020 for a breath-taking scene snapped during a stormy winter’s day

Now in its 10th year, the South West Coast Path Photographer of the Year competition is back! And as always, we’re super excited to see the incredible shots you’ve taken of the Trail. It’s been a challenging year for us all, but one good thing to come out of these truly unprecedented times is a revival of our love for nature. That’s why this year we’ve decided to provide a title theme to inspire your entries. 

The winning photograph, taken on a section of the Coast Path overlooking Porthcurno beach beat tough competition from over 1,300 other entries from across the south west region. Lee takes home not only the title, but a £500 voucher thanks to sustainable kit provider Finisterre.

Judging the competition was a panel of professional photographers; Quintin Lake, Clare James and Ben McConnon. On the winning photo the judges said:

  • "A breath-taking scene, beautifully captured. The birds and waves' dynamic interplay makes for a captivating subject enhanced by a well-controlled tonal range and composition." Quintin Lake
  • “The energy, movement and wildness of this shot sums up the Coast Path for me and the way the birds are moving around the rock and waves.” Clare James
  • Water is a notoriously tricky subject, but Lee balanced things perfectly - freezing the birds in flight yet allowing the power and pace of the waves to come through.” Ben McConnon 


We would like to extend our thanks to the 2020 judging panel: Quintin Lake, Clare James and Ben McConnon. Along with our friends over at Finisterre who provided a fantastic £500 voucher.


Focussing in on climate change



L- Top left clockwise: Storm by Lloyd WA Cosway, No Planet B by Li-An Lim, Cliff fall at Loe Bar by National Trust and Cliff Fall by James Loveridge. 

We also presented a special Climate Crisis Capture Award for the photo that best communicated important issues that are threatening the Coast Path such as; coastal erosion, pollution, rising sea levels, loss of biodiversity, loss of habits and extreme weather.

Dorset-based photographer James Loveridge for his dramatic photo taken in Lyme Regis during Storm Ellen. Matthew Pontin, Creative Director of Fotonow who judged the Award said, “There’s something really explosive about this image. I love how the nature of the rising wave sits alongside the building, making it look so fragile compared to the sea. The brooding sky above is a reminder that the climate crisis is hanging over us, demanding we take action.”

 Winner of the special award, James Loveridge said, “Living on such a dynamic stretch of coastline as the Jurassic Coast, I've seen the changes over the last two or three decades in many of my favourite locations and the increasing intensity and frequency of storms that shape the beaches and cliffs.” 

Next competition

Please check back soon to find details about the next competition which opens this Spring/Summer

SWCP Photographer 2021

Competition opening Spring/Summer.

Check back soon!

Last year's winnner

SWCP Photographer of the Year 2019 - Nick Shepherd

Click here to read the judges comments and about how Nick captured this amazing shot of a blizzard between Slapton and Blackpool Sands in South Devon. 

Other shortlisted entries

2019 Runner up - Ian Lewis with 'Stormy at Gwithian, Cornwall'

2019 Runner Up - Holly Auchincloss with 'Long exposure of evening light at the Crown mines'

Our first ever winner

2010 Winner - Chris Parker with 'Christmas Eve at Saunton Sands, Devon'

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the compeition, please contact us at [email protected]