Dark Hedges to feature in Countryfile 2012 calendar

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A picture of the Dark Hedges in Stranocum has been crowned one of the 12 finalists of this years Countryfile Photographic Competition - and will appear in their 2012 calendar.

Taken by local man Bob McCallion, the award-winning shot entitled Guard of Honour beat over 55,000 entries sent in to the BBC1 programme in a bid to be shortlisted for the calendar.

The contest title ‘Best In Show’ offered 12 classes to enter: 1. Wildlife, 2. Insects and Spiders, 3. In All Weathers, 4. Working Animals, 5. Leisure and Pleasure, 6. The Lighter Side of Country Life, 7. Plant life, 8. Landscapes, 9. Water Worlds, 10. Farm Life, 11. Birds, 12. Country People.

A Countryfile spokesperson explained: “A massive thank you to everyone who entered the Countryfile photographic competition, themed “Best In Show”. There were 12 different classes to enter and we were overwhelmed with the quality and quantity of photos we received.

“More than 55,000 flooded in, and to ensure every single photo was looked at, we enlisted the help of eight of our previous finalists. They had the unenviable task of whittling the entries down to a shortlist of 3,600 for the final judging.

“Judges John Craven, Chris Packham and Janet Street-Porter then headed to Dorney Court in Berkshire for the serious business of deciding on the best photo in each of the 12 classes. And, after a whole day of judging with plenty of lively debate along the way, they finally selected the 12 finalists which will appear in the Countryfile Calendar 2012, sold in aid of BBC Children In Need. Last year’s calendar raised almost £1.2m for the charity.”

However Bob’s @Farm Life’ picture is now in the running to scoop the overall title of Best In Show.

The spokesperson added: “From these final 12 photographs, the programme viewers will vote for the overall winner. The person who took the winning image will get to choose from a range of the latest photography equipment to the value of £1,000.

“The result will be revealed on Countryfile on Sunday 9 October when we’ll also be announcing the photo the judges liked best. The person who took that image gets to choose photography equipment to the value of £500.

To vote for Bob’s picture: Guard of Honour by Bob McCallion - Class: Farm Life call 09011 9870 10. Form more information go online to www.bbc.co.uk/programme.