A moody shot of a windswept lighthouse in an approaching storm on the Dutch coast, which won the Public Choice Award, headlines this year’s winners of the EEA’s ‘Well with Nature’ photo competition announced today. The 2022 competition was the EEA’s largest ever, drawing a record 5236 entries from across Europe.

Other winners included a dramatic closeup shot of two great crested grebes in a courting ritual exchanging plastic instead of seaweed on Lake Garda, a wide and dusty view of Turkish herders moving their cattle, a person becoming ‘one with nature’ with a downed tree trunk, a butterfly pausing on a person’s hand to rest and a firefighter looking at the destruction caused by a still smouldering forest fire in Istanbul.

The aim of the ‘Well with Nature’ competition was to highlight our connection to nature, how much we care for it and how it it affects our emotional and physical wellbeing. It aims to raise awareness about the benefits we can all receive by taking action towards zero pollution.

Environmental communication experts from the European Environment Information and Observation Network (Eionet) and the public selected the winners in four categories from a shortlisted 50 finalists. The four thematic categories were air, water, land, and sound. There were an additional two categories including the public choice award and best youth photo.

The winner of each thematic category will receive a cash prize of EUR 1,000. Additional prizes of EUR 500 are awarded to the best youth entry as well as the public’s favourite photo. This year’s contest received the highest number of photo submissions ever. Water was the biggest category followed by land.  

Winners by category:

Air: The dusty journey of the herds in the wind in Bitlis, by Ali ihsan Öztürk, Türkiye

Water: The plastic gift, by Roberto Melotti, Italy

Land: One with nature, by Gert Lammerts, The Netherlands

Sound: Fire, by Onur Doğman, Türkiye

Youth Award: Calm Butterfly, by Patryk Stefaniak, Poland 

Public Choice Award: Summer in Zeeland, by Alice van Kempen, The Netherlands

You can view all the 50 finalists here.

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