Winning Naturally Healthy October Photos Taken of Beautiful Devon

During Naturally Healthy October 2020, Active Devon on behalf of the Devon Local Nature Partnership hosted a Naturally Healthy Photo Competition. The competition offered the opportunity for people living in Devon to explore the local natural environment and take some amazing photographs.

Here are the fantastic photos taken from the winners and runners-up across the two different entry categories, along with their short story about the photos.

Please click on the photos to see full view.

Winning Photo Above for ‘My Favourite Place to be Naturally Healthy’ Category

Geoff Marshall entered this stunning photo taken at Glen Lyn Gorge at Lynmouth. Geoff said:

“Following shielding during and after lockdown and no holiday away this year, we (me and June, my wife) decided to make the most of spare days. We did this by going out walking in places that we hadn’t previously visited or, hadn’t been there for a long time, and we took photos whilst we were there.

On this particular day the weather was lovely and the autumn colours in the woodlands surrounding the river made the gorge stunningly beautiful. It’s an idyllic place to visit, and with very few people around was a calm, peaceful place to go and relax and destress.

I recommend making the extra effort to visit beautiful places around Devon, (it would be easy to just go for a walk locally but the extra effort has been definitely worth it). The combination of walking and photography has really helped this year to make a difficult year a bit more ‘normal’ and we will definitely carry on doing the same next year.”

Winning Photo Above for ‘My Favourite Naturally Healthy Activity’ Category

Terri Ingram entered this incredible photo taken underneath a waterfall in North Devon. We love the way it encapsulates the joy (and cold!) of wild swimming. Terri often spends time wild swimming, especially in the sea off the North Devon coast.

Here is what Terri had to say:

“I love sea swimming as it makes me feel strong, empowered and it has markedly improved my own body positivity. The more I’m doing it the fitter I’m feeling, which makes me want to keep swimming.

The sea makes me feel calm and energised all at the same time. Through sea swimming I have met the most incredible friends and we have built a very strong salty sisterhood.

This particular photo was taken underneath a waterfall which was the most invigorating and fun experience being in water. I felt so happy that day.

I would encourage anyone to give it a try for the benefits on mental health. The by-product is the friends you make, the empowerment and feeling like superwoman, all with the added bonus of exploring the wild wonders of North Devon.”

The Runner-up Photo Above for ‘My Favourite Place to be Naturally Healthy’ Category

The runner-up in this category were Michaela Cavey for her shot of a woodland scene.

Michaela said:

“This was a National Trust walk by Sparkwell and it was so peaceful. Me and a friend walk this route frequently after difficult days at work or just to get away. Everyone else who is out walking are very polite and it really helps to clear the mind.”

The First Runner-up Photo Above for ‘My Favourite Naturally Healthy Activity’ Category

The first runner-up in this category was Jane Coleman for her photo of two walkers on Exmoor.

Jane said:

“We all love walking with our dogs on Exmoor, whatever the weather; to spot wild birds, wild swim and as shown here, looking for the stags in rutting season. The absolute torrential rain didn’t stop us that day and we saw a big herd of deer and stags, making our walk worthwhile.

We felt very wet, cold and a bit mad to leave home but felt fantastic to see the deer. We felt exhilarated to be out in such awful weather, glad of the fresh air and exercise. The weather never stops us going for walks.

I’d encourage anyone to get a good rain jacket, leggings and boots and go walking, even if it’s awful weather. Take a flask and binoculars and see what wildlife you can spot. It’s great for the mind, body and soul and is lots of fun too.”

The Second Runner-up Photo Above for ‘My Favourite Naturally Healthy Activity’ Category

The second runner-up in this category was Catherine Williams for her photo of her goddaughter practising her diving skills in Torbay.

Catherine said:

“My goddaughter hopes to be a Marine Biologist when she’s older and I love the water. This picture shows her practising her diving skills. She loves to be in the water more than she does on the boat.

We both enjoy spending time together on the beach, rock pooling and litter picking, as well as on our friends’ boat and swimming in the sea. After tough days at school and the office there’s nothing quite like the freedom of the sea and salt in your hair. We would encourage everyone to give it a go, even if you start by just dipping your toes in.”

Please note: these photos were taken during October 2020 and it is crucial that everyone follows current government guidance:

“At Active Devon we passionately believe that being active is important as ever. However, safety is paramount, and it is crucial that everyone follows current government guidance while continuing to stay active. #StayActiveStaySafe.”