Countryfile Calendar competition 2021: how to enter and this year’s theme

The Countryfile Calendar photographic competition for 2021 is now open for entries. Here is our guide to this year's competition, including how to enter and photography tips from the experts to help you take the winning shot.

Countryfile judges

Entries are now open for the 2021 Countryfile Calendar photographic competition.

Here is our guide to this year’s Countryfile Calendar competition, including how to enter, the theme and take the winning shot.

We will be updating this page regularly with new information.


What is the theme of the Countryfile Calendar competition?

The theme for the 2021 Countryfile Calendar competition is ‘Bright and Beautiful’, and whether you’re in the countryside or the city, the judges want to see your interpretation of ‘Bright and Beautiful’ right from your doorstep.

This could be your interpretation of the beauty of the British countryside or a beautiful aspect of a creature that lives within it – or perhaps you captured the first signs of spring or summer wildlife in your garden or local park. As long as your photographs capture the essence of `Bright and Beautiful’ then you’re in with a chance.


What is the official charity for the Countryfile Calendar?

The best 12 will then make up the Countryfile Calendar for 2020, which will be sold in aid of the BBC Children in Need appeal.

How is the winner chosen?

John Craven will be chairing the judging panel and is once again joined by Simon King the wildlife cameraman and Cerys Matthews the musician and broadcaster. Together they’ll choose their favourite 12 photographs before they let you decide which of them is the overall winner which will feature on the cover of the 2021 Countryfile calendar.

People sat in woodland
BBC Countryfile Calendar 2020 judges: Simon King, John Craven and Cerys Matthews. (BBC Images)

How to enter the Countryfile Calendar competition

This year the BBC is only accepting online entries. You can enter by uploading your digital photos and filling out the online entry form on the BBC Countryfile website.

There’s a maximum of three photos per person which you need to submit separately. The BBC can only accept photo’s in JPEG format and only up to a maximum size of 10mb. Please keep copies of your original files if they are bigger than this, as we may need them later on if you are successful.

The theme ‘Bright and Beautiful’ is open to the interpretation of the photographer. But entries should feature landscape photographs of the United Kingdom, or wild or farm animals, in a natural setting. Pictures of pets are not eligible for the competition – nor are zoo animals. Images of UK wildlife in captivity are also ineligible. See the full details on the BBC website.

Upload your digital photos

When does the Countryfile Calendar competition close?

The competition closes at 23:59 on Friday the 31st July.

Please ensure you read the full terms and conditions and privacy notice before entering, which can be found on the BBC website.

Learn how to improve your photography skills

In our photography section, find advice from the experts on how to take better photos of wildlife and nature.

How to take beautiful photos of wildflowers

Snowdrop ©Steve Nicholls
Don’t be afraid to get down to the level of your subjects ©Steve Nicholls

The first sight of emerging wildflowers is a joyful sign of spring and summer and makes a lovely photography subject.

Learn how to capture the delicate beauty of wildflowers on camera.

How to photograph garden birds

Great and Blue Tit Feeding
Add feeders to your garden to attract a wide variety of birds/Credit: Getty

You don’t have to venture far to find wild birds to photograph – your back garden is a great place to start. Set up a bird feeder somewhere out of the reach of cats and give local birds a few weeks to get used to it, placing food out regularly. Alternatively, scope out nearby woodland or your local park for visiting birds – or even try taking photos from your window.

Our wild bird photography guide has advice on how to take good quality photos of your garden birds.

Best places to photograph wildlife in the UK

Otter on the Isle of Mull, Scotland, UK
Isle of Mull, Scotland, UK/Credit: Getty

Fancy trying to capture the perfect wildlife shot on camera? From the Hebrides to Dorset, here is a selection of the best places for wildlife photography in Britain.

See our photography section for more advice and inspiration

Who won the BBC Countryfile Calendar 2020 competition?

The winner of the Countryfile Calendar for 2020 is Michelle Howell with her photo ‘An apple a day’. The winning photo was voted for by Countryfile viewers and takes pride of place on the front cover of the Countryfile calendar for 2020, sold in aid of the BBC Children in Need. The theme for the 2020 calendar competition was ‘Beauty and the Beasts’ and there were more than 42,000 entries.

Mouse in apple
October finalist in the BBC Countryfile Calendar competition 2020. ‘An apple a day’ by Michelle Howell.

The BBC Countryfile Calendar 2020 sold in aid of BBC Children in Need is no longer available for sale.

Countryfile Calendar competition 2020: winner, finalists and how to buy a calendar