IN FOCUS: David Forster at one of his favourite views of Demesnes Mill
IN FOCUS: David Forster at one of his favourite views of Demesnes Mill

DRAMATIC images of heather burning in the dale have resulted in a national accolade for a Marwood photographer.

Top landscape photographer David Forster has earned his third successive highly commended award from the Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild for a portfolio he collected over two years on Teesdale’s grouse moors.

He was also shortlisted for the international Outdoor Photographer of the Year award, with two of his images appearing in the top 100 in the competition which attracts tens of thousands of entries from around the world.

His photographs of heather burning were taken over two years and came about opportunistically.

Mr Forster said: “When I was driving out each day I would see the smoke.

“There was one where the light was behind and I thought that would make a cracking shot.”

Heather burning is controversial and some environmentalists want it banned, but gamekeepers say it is crucial for effective grouse moor management.

Mr Forster added: “I had not gone out to make a statement.

“I just wanted to document it because there is a chance it might die out as a way of managing the moors. It is emotive.”

Mr Forster joined the Outdoor Writers and Photographers guild three years ago and was quite happy to have received highly commended recognition.

He said: “I am quite pleased because it is the third year running, but winning would be good.”

Mr Forster’s photographs have appeared in National Geographic and various outdoors magazines.

He also offers photography workshops for small groups of one or two people.

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