Meet the Judges

John Ferguson

John Ferguson is an experienced documentary and environmental portrait photographer now based in Suffolk. He as travelled extensively working for leading national and international newspapers and magazines as well as large NGO’s. From the rise of the Aids/HIV pandemic in Africa and Asia, to feature stories from conflicts zones in Afghanistan and Iraq. Over the last year John as been producing a series of environmental portraits for Suffolk Wildlife Trust photographing core members of staff and volunteers working on the various sites around the county.


Cathy Smith

Cathy Smith is a Zoology graduate and PGCE holder, having worked in in environmental education in Suffolk for over 20 years. She enjoys inspiring young people to appreciate and understand the natural world. In 2015 Cathy was awarded a Royal Society of Biology Grant to devise and deliver new learning programmes based on Sir David Attenborough’s achievements. Cathy is a tutor and speaker on Gardening for Wildlife, seeking common ground between garden designers and the latest publications from ecologists about pollinators and other garden wildlife. Having grown up in Suffolk Cathy has a broad interest in the region’s natural history and ecology and enjoys exploring the best of the Suffolk countryside on foot or bicycle. She is interested in how photography can reveal wildlife in a new light and to a fresh audience.


Kevin Sawford

Kevin Sawford is a multi-award winning professional wildlife photographer based in the heart of Suffolk. He has run the Trust’s photography workshops for many years with courses now offering a varied mixture of events across the Trust’s reserves. Kevin has had a passion for the natural world since childhood and was given his first camera when he was around 9 years old. He believes everyone can be a good photographer, practice is the key, learn the fundamentals for taking good images and by learning the behaviour of the subject you want to take you can enhance your chances of getting better images. This is the fourth year Kevin has been a judge for this competition. With the standard of images entered getting better all the time one piece of advice he would suggest is to send in images that make the judges look twice at, the subject does not have to be rare but show some interesting behaviour or a unique setting.


Kerry Stranix

Kerry spent 15 years with Suffolk Wildlife Trust where she led the charity’s media relations, evolved its annual wildlife photography competition and built relationships with leading photographers. Her highlights include campaigning to make Ipswich the most hedgehog friendly town in the UK and curating the county’s first nature summit. She is now pursuing a PhD in environmental politics at the University of East Anglia and working for the environmental charity Groundwork, where she remains committed to campaigning for greater environmental protections and access to nature for all.

As a lifelong Suffolk resident Kerry is never happier than when she’s exploring the county’s country lanes on her bike and improving her birding skills.


Matt Clarke

Matt joined the Trust in the early 1980’s, inspired by his father who was one of the Trust’s first Conservation Officers. He endeavoured to combine this childhood passion for wildlife with his interest in photography, winning his first major award with the Trusts Photographer of the Year in 2002. Since then Matt has had over 100 photos accepted into national exhibitions, many of them of natural history subjects and is Exhibition Secretary for a local photographic society and the Eastern Region of the Royal Photographic Society. Matt’s membership of the Trust continues to be of great value and he is pleased to volunteer occasionally throughout the year.