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Serene sunset at sacred site wins People’s Choice award

Serene sunset at sacred site wins People’s Choice award

February 19, 2024

A serene image of one of Sussex’s most sacred hills is the winner of the South Downs National Park’s People’s Choice award.

More than 1,200 votes were cast for a range of beautiful images from the shortlist of this year’s annual photography competition, which had the theme “A New Perspective”.

“Golden Beech” took the top spot, winning photographer Michael Steven Harris a £75 prize.

Michael, from Brighton, said: “As I approached the beautiful beech trees at Chanctonbury Ring I saw that the tracks sloping up and in front of the trees provided a good composition with the sun setting to the left.  I was about to take the photo when I noticed two small flocks of birds fortuitously flying past – so I waited until there was some separation between them and the trees before I pressed the shutter, resulting in the photo you see here.”

And Michael added: “The South Downs National Park is a wonderful place to explore for its varied landscape – from the distinctive serene rolling hills and valleys across the Downs to the breathtaking chalk cliffs and meandering rivers at Seven Sisters.  The same hilly landscape also creates lots of unique weather conditions perfect for photographers and finally, to top it all off, there’s picturesque windmills, monuments, castles and lighthouses dotted all about the park!”

Chanctonbury Ring is an Iron Age hillfort that was later used as a Roman religious site. The earliest known use of the site occurred in the Bronze Age, about 1500 BCE, with the burial of a young woman, who was interred with a bronze dagger beside her.