NatureScot calendar 2021 photo competition - Year of Coasts and Waters

Year of Coasts and Waters photography competition

We're on the lookout for your favourite photos and personal stories of Scotland’s rivers, coasts, seas, lochs and canals to feature in a celebratory calendar marking Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters (YCW).

While plans for the themed year, celebrating Scotland’s unrivalled coasts and waters, have been affected by the coronavirus restrictions, many people have still been going outdoors and enjoying nature close to home. Our special themed calendar will showcase Scotland’s nature, and continue the YCW celebrations into 2021. 

During 2022, the Year of Scotland’s Stories will carry on the themed year programme, so we need YOUR stories from behind the lens. Perhaps your photo is of a beach with fond childhood memories or a river where a magical nature moment was captured; it can be anything - tell us your special memory or story is of that place.

The photos don't have to be from this year, however:

  • A high resolution version must be available for printing purposes. 
  • Images needs to be landscape orientation.
  • Scotland’s coasts or waters must feature in the photo. 
  • A brief story or memory should accompany each photo.
  • The month and year the photo was taken should be stated.

The overall winner’s image will feature on the front page of our 2021 calendar and the runners up will have their photograph featured on a seasonally relevant month of the year in the calendar.

Entries should be submitted in the first instance as lower resolution JPEGs to [email protected]. If successful you will then be contacted for a high resolution version. 

Closing date for entries is 5pm on 1 October 2020. Please read full terms and conditions below before entering.


Terms & conditions

Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of the competition rules and the terms and conditions.


  1. It is free to take part. The organisers are NatureScot.
  2. Anyone professionally connected with this draw are excluded from entry, including the judging panel or direct relatives of the panel.
  3. The competition is open to everyone, of all abilities. Entrants under the age of 18 years need to have parental or guardian consent to enter. Parents/guardians agree to the competition rules, terms and conditions as set out herein on behalf of the entrant. The contestants don’t need to hold a Scottish citizenship or reside in Scotland, but the photography needs to be taken in Scotland and must include Scotland’s coasts, rivers, lochs, canals and/or seas. 
  4. Competition submissions must not include any endorsements of products or services, infringes on people’s reasonable expectations of privacy, or any obscene, violent, racist or defamatory content.
  5. All entries must be received by 5pm 1 October 2020, no late submissions will be considered.
  6. The judging panel consists of representatives from NatureScot. The panel will choose winning photographs for each month of the year as well as an image for the front cover of the calendar.
  7. Photos will be chosen for the month/season they depict, therefore all entries must state the month they were taken. Each photograph must be accompanied by a brief story about the photograph. This can be how or why it was taken, what was happening in the photo, or anything else relevant to the image.
  8. The winners will receive copies of the printed calendar.
  9. All prize winning photographs will be used for promoting Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 2020/21, Scotland’s Year of Storytelling 2022 and any relevant NatureScot work.
  10. The calendar will be printed in limited quantities, with any charitable donations going to a charity/project chosen by the organisers. An online version of the calendar will be available for free download.
  11. No alternatives to the prizes will be offered.
  12. Decisions taken by the jury are final and no correspondence will be entered into.

How to Submit

  1. There is a maximum number of ten photographs per person. Only one person can be the contact person and representative for each photograph.
  2. Photographs should be sent via email to [email protected] and each one should fulfil the following requirements:
    • File format: JPG only, landscape.
    • In the first instance entries should be submitted as lower resolution JPEGs, saved at 1600 pixels along the longest dimension.
    • If selected for the calendar, you must be able to supply a high resolution file, preferably via WeTransfer and as a TIFF or maximum quality JPEG, at a minimum of 4000 pixels on the longest side, suitable for printing. This should be 8-bit, and at the original resolution. Please do not upscale. No borders, watermarks or signatures should be included.
    • To help us make sure you are properly credited with your image, please rename your files with your name and where the image was taken.
    • Images cannot promote specific products, companies or organisations.
  3. When submitting the photograph, the contenders must provide their name, email address, and contact number, as well as the month/year the image was taken, the location shown in the image and a brief story (50 words) relevant to the photograph for their entry to be valid.
  4. Incomplete entries or entries that do not comply with the formal specifications will be automatically disqualified.

Copyright, liability and GDPR

Photographs may not be blocked by agencies or publishers and may not have received an award in another competition.

By participating in this competition, the contenders confirm and warrant that:

  • They are the sole authors of each entry and that it is their original work.
  • They own the copyright and any other intellectual property rights of each image.
  • They have the permission of anyone pictured in the image (or, where the image shows any persons under 18, the consent of their parent/guardian) for the usage rights required by NatureScot and will indemnify NatureScot against any claims made by any third parties in respect of such infringement.
  • They have not licensed or disposed of any rights in the image that would conflict with uses to be made by NatureScot.
  • NatureScot and its sponsors and supporters are granted non-exclusive, irrevocable licence to reproduce, enlarge, publish or exhibit, on any media, the photographs for any purpose directly connected with the competition.
  • NatureScot maintains the rights to make minor edits to images for the purposes of sharing on social media and any size constraints that might apply.
  • Organisers can sub-license photographs to the media for reproduction in connection with the competition and exhibition only.
  • NatureScot will make every reasonable effort to ensure that name credits are given to any photographs published in any medium.
  • The winners’ photographs will be used freely by NatureScot for promotion purposes.

NatureScot’s privacy statement applies to all personal data collected during the submission of photographs for the competition. NatureScot is the data controller for this project.

What kind of personal data we use and collect:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Telephone number

How we gather your personal data:

  • You submit your personal data to us when you enter this competition

How we use your personal data:

  • To assess competition submissions
  • To award prizes
  • To contact prize winners

Our legal basis for using your personal data:

To operate this competition and to award prizes, we must process your personal data. We are therefore processing your personal data in performance of a task carried out in the public interest. This means you have the right to:

  • Access your information
  • Have incorrect information corrected
  • Be forgotten
  • Restrict the use of your information

Your Personal Data Rights

You can find out a bit more about your rights in NatureScot’s privacy notice. The UK Information Commissioner also has more information about your rights.

To make a request please write to the Data Protection Officer giving us your name and contact details and a description of the data you want to see. We will respond as soon as we can and by 30 days after your request at the latest. We might ask you to provide some form of identification so we don't give data about you to the wrong person by mistake.

How long we keep your data

This means we will delete your personal data once we’ve viewed and assessed all the photographs, and announced the winner. Read NatureScot’s main Privacy Notices.

Announcement of winners

  1. NatureScot will contact the winners by 19 October 2020 and the winning photographs will be announced on the NatureScot competition website and on social media. The winners will be contacted through email.
  2. The winners may be asked to offer support to promotional activities related to the campaign and this contest, such as background information and photos. This is not compulsory but encouraged.
  3. The prizes are non-negotiable, non-transferable, non-refundable and cannot be exchanged. 

For any questions, contact [email protected].