Northern Ireland coastline across the water

Winners of our Northern Ireland field trip photo contest

As international travel was restricted this year due to COVID, in April our second year Geography and Environment students travelled to Northern Ireland for a week-long field trip. The aim of these longer residential field trips is to let students practice the field skills they’ve been learning under real-world conditions, and to support them in developing and undertaking their own research projects. But we also know that students spend field trips taking lots of photos to share with friends, family and social media – so this year we decided run a photo contest too!

There were three categories for the contest, each with a prize of a £50 National Book Token. Here are this year’s winning photos, plus some background info from the students who took them:

gap in rock with view of countrysideCategory 1 – Best photo relating to one of the Physical Geography or Environmental Science field trip themes (vegetation of upland heathlands; the archaeology of Prehistoric Ireland; coastal water quality; or the geology of the North Atlantic Igneous Province)

The winner is Jas Bowring Geography with Remote Sensing & GIS BSc(Hons), for this photo of a stunning rock formation:

‘My photo was taken on the Geology day, just along the coast from Ballintoy harbour. Me and another student went on a brief walk during the lunch break, and I spotted this great arch formation. I thought the view from it looked perfect, so I took a few pictures. These photos also almost led to us being left behind, luckily the lecturers realised we weren’t on the bus!’

close up of a goat with it's tongue outCategory 2 – Best photo relating to one of the Human Geography field trip themes (landscapes of the imagination; heritage & urban regeneration in Belfast; renewable blue energy; or sustainable rural livelihoods)

The winner is Sophie Marley Geography BA(Hons), for this in-your-face photo of a young goat:

‘My photo was taken at Broughgammon Farm in Ballycastle, a small-scale family run farm focused on sustainable and ethical approaches to farming. These little goats had been taken in from the dairy industry and would otherwise have been put down. They were very friendly, quite loud, and liked to chew on everything (fingers, hair, clothes etc). We also looked around the rest of the farm, where Charlie (the farmer) was experimenting with agro-forestry techniques to improve crop yield and avoid agricultural monocultures.’

student on rocks water sampling rod above headCategory 3 – Best photo of students

The winner is Lizzie Pallett Environmental Sciences BSc(Hons), for her image of triumph after a water-sampling session:

‘Collecting water samples at Helen’s Bay required a lot more strength than I anticipated! Having a bucket of water on a really long and bendy pole was not easy to manage, particularly without spilling too much as I handed it to members of my group, or accidentally hitting them with the pole. It was a genuine weightlifting exercise, so I thought it would be appropriate to commemorate the moment with a deadlift and overhead press.’

Congratulations to all three winners!

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