Tree-mendous! Photo contest winner Paul gifts prize to Exeter park that inspired successful snap

A photography competition winner has donated his prize of a tree to the popular Exeter park where he took his winning shot.

Generous Paul Osborne didn’t have room in his own garden so instead allowed the sapling to be planted at Heavitree Pleasure Ground.

The area is one of Paul’s favourite haunts and was the location for his successful snap – a stunning image of a blue sky above a group of oaks.

Paul’s image caught the eyes of judges in the city council’s tree photography competition.

The authority asked people to take a picture of their favourite tree in the city as part of National Tree Week.

The competition attracted more than 70 entries.

Paul Osborne with his winning picture at Heavitree Pleasure Ground. Image: Exeter City Council

Paul Osborne with his winning picture at Heavitree Pleasure Ground. Image: Exeter City Council

Paul said: “We’ve recently planted some new trees in the garden, some birches from Stone Lane Gardens, so we don’t have any room left!”

Paul’s prize was a tree donated by Devon Tree Services and a framed photograph of the winning image.

Paul added: “We love this group of oak trees and our dog loves the squirrels that live in them.

“The photo was taken on an early morning walk during lockdown – when Exeter’s parks and green spaces really came into their own.”

The junior competition was won by six-year-old Olienna Cardnell, whose image of a ‘Golden Tree’ at Exeter Quay wowed judges.

Olienna also wins a tree, donated by the city council, and a framed print of her picture.

Olienna’s twin brother Rupert came second in the junior category and also received a framed photograph for his efforts.

Siblings Rupert and Olienna Cardnell were successful in the junior category. Image: Exeter City Council

Siblings Rupert and Olienna Cardnell were successful in the junior category. Image: Exeter City Council

Councillor David Harvey, lead for city management, said: “I was impressed with the quality of entries.

“We received so many stunning images of so many beautiful trees. Paul’s image of the Heavitree oaks scored highly with all four judges, making it the stand-out winner.

“I am so pleased people have continued to get out and enjoy Exeter’s parks and open spaces during what has been a difficult year for us all.

“Nature can be a healer and we know that trees and the wildlife habitats that they represent can have a great effect on mental health.

“We have planted thousands of trees in Exeter over recent years and will continue to do so.

“Over the coming weeks we have 56 standard-sized trees (and 100 whips ready to be planted and that’s not including Paul and Olienna’s trees!”

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