IF YOU photograph, draw or paint the natural world as a hobby you will appreciate the astonishing variety and beauty provided by the flora, fauna and landscapes of our area.

This autumn, local photographers and artists are being invited to submit their works in three competitions.

First, Surrey Wildlife Trust invites you to pick up your paintbrushes or pastels, experiment with mixed media or set up your camera for the challenge of becoming Wild Surrey Photographer or Artist of the Year 2022.

The Trust is looking for “incredible” images of wildlife and nature in Surrey which tell a story, create an emotional response, show the unexpected or help us to understand the importance of taking urgent action for climate change.

For example, you might show an abundance of bees, beetles and butterflies, or focus on an individual insect. Alternatively, you might surprise them with unexpected animal behaviour by one of Surrey’s reptiles, birds or mammals.

Supported by STIHL, which manufactures landscaping equipment used by many local authorities and other teams to cultivate areas of natural beauty, the competition is open to anyone aged seven and upwards, and aims to showcase the most inspiring nature-themed art and photography in Surrey.

The closing date for entries is 1 March 2022. Shortlisted entries and the winners will be exhibited online and at The Lightbox in Woking from 9 to 22 May. To find out more about each category and to enter, visit surreywildlifetrust.org.uk, Surrey Wild Life Trust on Facebook, @surreywildlifetrust on Instagram or on Twitter @SurreyWT

Second, the Basingstoke Canal Society (BCS) is looking for the best 13 photos of our wonderful waterway from which to create its 2022 calendar – but you’ll have to get your skates on because the closing date is this Thursday, 30 September.

The society says it receives lots of great pictures of the Basingstoke Canal, but asks: “Can you capture a particular point of interest to make a striking and memorable image? When there is a plethora of wildlife to catch your eye, it’s tempting to zoom in for the close-up. But our judges will be looking for photos that set your starring swans or darting dragonflies in the context of our canal.

“We would love to see how the canal features in the life of our communities. Images with a human interest are very welcome.”

Images must be in colour, a landscape format and sized at 300 dpi (dots per inch) to ensure a quality print reproduction. Entries should be emailed by 30 September to [email protected], together with your name and a title for the picture.

Sales of the 2021 A5-sized calendar raised over £1,500 for the Basingstoke Canal Society and this year BCS hopes to make the most of the photographs by increasing its size to A4.

Winners will be named in the calendar and receive a free copy. You will retain the copyright to the photos but you agree that the BCS can use the photos in its promotional work. For full details, visit www.basingstoke-canal.org.uk.

Third, Nuffield Health Woking Hospital is running a photography competition to capture what it means to you to live in the Woking locality.

The competition is open to adults, children (12+), students and budding professionals. They are looking for stunning photos of anywhere in the Woking area, to be displayed in Nuffield Health’s Hospital in Woking.

All photos submitted will be judged internally by a panel with the top winner receiving a gift voucher prize of £100 along with a seven-day free pass to the local Nuffield Health’s West Byfleet Fitness & Wellbeing Centre.

Entries should be emailed to [email protected] by 31 October 2021. For full terms and conditions visit nuffieldhealth.com/hospitals/woking.