Itchen Valley photography competition

Episyrphus balteatus, sometimes called the Marmalade fly is a type of Hoverfly. Does anyone know what those other little critter are?

Here’s Esm’ee McConnell’s photograph. I think you’ll agree, it’s a definite winner! Esm’ee’s hoping her picture raises awareness in her age group, highlighting that hoverflies won’t hurt you (they have no stings) and are important pollinators and predators of garden pests.

Esm’ee took her picture while walking in one of her favourite places, Itchen Valley Country Park. The Hoverfly caught her eye and she won a competition run by the park. Esm’ee called her photo Think of me as a precious pollinator and not a pest.

Part of Esm’ee’s prize is that her picture will be displayed at the Park’s visitor centre. “It’ll be blown-up so big that it will make people stop, look and think and hopefully, learn how to identify different insects.

Esm’ee’s looking into how she can help pollinators to help save the planet! She loves taking photos and is studying GCSE Art & Photography. She wants to learn more about hoverflies and what role they play in the environment. Bees, wasps and buzzy things. She also wants to find out how these under-researched insects are being affected by viruses and other pathogens.

Esm’ee adores animals and takes a keen interest in her surroundings; taking photos and making art from nature. She also loves tennis and baking!

We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this rising talent!

Esm’ee is Meridian members’ Zara and Phil McConnell’s daughter.

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