A Walsall resident shares his delight at being crowned winner of a Black Country-wide photography competition.
Raj Chouhan’s majestic image of the bandstand at Walsall Arboretum was chosen as the winning photograph in the Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark photography competition.
Competition winner Raj Chouhan (centre) pictured with his wife Usha Chouhan (left) and Graham Worton (right) from the Black Country Global Geopark
It was chosen out of more than 200 entries received during a six-week period.
The judges (made up of members of the geopark’s management team) had a tough choice whittling down the entries but eventually chose their top 12.
It was then over to the Mayors of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton to choose their overall winner and three runners up.
All of the judges were impressed with Raj’s photograph and believed it captured the heart and soul of the Black Country.
The winner was announced on social media on the inaugural International Geodiversity Day, October 6.
Jane Lamine from the Black Country UNESCO Global Geopark team, said:
When we launched this competition, we hoped to attract entries that truly captured the heart and soul of the Black Country.
When people think of this area, the first thing that may come to many people’s minds is that it’s a built-up area, renowned for its manufacturing and industrial heritage.
But Raj’s image captures one of many wonderful green, open spaces that are all over the Black Country, many of which are sites within the geopark.
Although the Arboretum now provides a recreational space for thousands of visitors each year, it was a once a limestone mine, so it’s a perfect example of how the area has evolved over time.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter the competition and congratulations to Raj.
On winning the competition, Raj comments:
I’ve lived in Walsall for more than 50 years and am now lucky enough to live in walking distance of the Arboretum.
I’ve been a keen amateur photographer since I was a child and have spent many hours in the Arboretum in recent years photographing the changing seasons.
I am delighted to have won the competition and highlight the wonderful gem that is the Arboretum.
The competition runners up were Annette Daniels, Sharlene Greene and Andy Myers. A further eight entries were commended.