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In a forest, there is always something new to discover

Dec 14 2018

The last image of our 2018 ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo calendar – and the winner of the 2017 photo contest – takes us into a snow-covered French forest.

Gareth Goldthorpe, the photographer of ‘Morning Star’, tells us what he loves about forests and why he decided to make them his workplace.

Morning Star

How do you feel about forests?

I was very lucky to grow up near a forest. I spent much of my childhood running around, exploring the woods and having fun. I think primarily that is what forests mean to me and it’s why I came into the field I am working in now. Forests are complex habitats, and I like that complexity. I like the fact that every time you walk through a forest, everything is a little different and there is always something new to discover.

I am a conservation biologist, so I spend a lot of time working in forests. They are a much sought after resource, which makes them a source of conflict. Part of my work is to make sure the resources are allocated to those who need them – in a sustainable way.

How did the forest inspire you to take your winning photo?

I was inspired to take the photo on a mid-January morning, when I took my dog Monty for a walk. The sun was quite low behind the forest and the snow on the ground reflected the sunlight and nicely illuminated the trees.

I knew I could take a great image if I got there even earlier, so I came back the next morning. As the sun came up, it shone between the two trees in the middle of the image, creating this beautiful star effect.

What do you think of the work that an organization such as PEFC does to care for forests?

Organizations like PEFC have a very important role. I have worked in many developing countries where both the national and local economies have just begun to flourish. Obviously, there is a temptation for the governments to extract resources quickly, to make money in the short term. Like we did in the West.

Organizations like PEFC are very important to make sure natural resources are extracted in a sustainable way that doesn’t negatively impact the local flora and fauna.

2018 Experience Forests, Experience PEFC Photo Contest

We held the photo contest again this year and received even more stunning photos showing wildlife, work, leisure and learning in the forest.

Have a look at the best photos of the 2018 photo contest here and look out for the background stories throughout next year.

We will run the photo contest again in 2019 – get your cameras and phones ready and share with us your best forest moments!

About the contest

In 2017 we held the first ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest. Taking place in 23 countries, we received over 11,000 photos from forests around the world.

From the thousands of photos received, we chose our top 12 images, all of which can be seen here.

See the photos from earlier in the year:

PEFC Certified

Forests area: 307 million ha
Forest owners: > 750,000
Companies (CoC): > 20,000

(as of September 2018)
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