The winners of Wiki Loves Earth 2023 in Northern Ireland

  • February 8, 2024

By Richard Nevell, Programme Manager for Wikimedia UK

Wiki Loves Earth is an annual photography competition themed around the natural world. Wikimedia UK first took part in the competition in 2021 when Wales blazed the way. In 2023 we partnered with Wikimedia Community Group Ireland to support the competition in Northern Ireland for the first time. Since they entered in 2020, the Irish community group have been doing outstanding work running the competition, enabling photographers to add beautiful shots of our natural world to Wikimedia Commons.

A total of 363 photos were submitted to the competition; all of them are openly licensed meaning they are free to use and can illustrate Wikipedia. The competition is a great way to share photos of places that are important to you. The judges elected ten winning photos, which can be viewed here.

First place goes to a photograph of Tollymore Forest Park by Ryan Mcdonald, featured at the top of this blog. The long exposure on this shot captures the motion of the water as well as autumnal colours of the foliage.

Photograph of gold and green grasses across Cuilcagh Mountain under a blue sky.
Cuilcagh Mountain: Special Area of Conservation By Carl Meehan. CC BY-SA 2.0

In second place is Cuilcagh Mountain by Carl Meehan. Carl’s photo captures the landscape on a spring day. The mountain is a Special Area of Conservation and has a 2,500-hectare park on its northern slopes.

Photo of from Minerstown looking back to the Mournes - the South Down Coast
Mourne Mountains, Ireland, the Mourne AONB was designated in 1986. By Conall. CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Mourne Mountains are an Area of Natural Beauty, and depicted here by our third place photo taken by Conall. This photo juxtaposes the mountains in the background with the coastline in front.

The natural world changes from season to season, but climate change poses a threat to our environment and its durability. Extreme temperatures, drought, or rainfall all disturb the balance that has cultivated these environments and biodiversity. The photos submitted to the competition capture the state of our natural world at a point in time, and remind us what we stand to lose.
We hope to expand the competition across the UK in 2024, bringing more opportunities to appreciate our environment. Until then, you can also explore the entries to the Northern Ireland competition on a map.

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