Early Career Naturalist Challenge

The challenge

We are inviting naturalists and nature communicators to make a short video about nature in the UK, particularly in the uplands. Whilst it can lead on broader environmental concerns such as climate change and may include people’s engagement with nature, it must relate directly to nature and biodiversity in the UK uplands.

The challenge offers entrants an opportunity to share their work and ideas in innovative ways with a wider public. The best entries will be shown as part of Hen Harrier Day Online, a national event to be hosted by high-profile nature presenters on 8 August 2020. Entries will also be given online space on our website and social media. We aim to show up to six entries on the day and there will be prizes for the best three.

We understand that not all early career naturalists will have huge resources, and that Covid-19 restrictions will continue at some level. So, though good production values will matter, we are looking more for creativity and inventiveness in contributions. Animations, puppets, comedy sketches, song, all are welcome, as well as video or presentations based on still photographs or other images. You may use other people’s work (e.g. photographs) with their permission but the creative work in assembling your entry should be entirely yours.

Design brief

Your entry should:

  • be about nature or wildlife in the UK with clear reference to the uplands.
  • be substantially your own, with full credit given to any components that are not your own.
  • not have the character of a demo or audition. We are looking for good content that stands on its own, not a sales pitch.
  • have duration in time. For example a still photograph will not count but a presentation using a series of stills to tell a story will.
  • last a maximum of four minutes.
  • not be offensive, though it can be as hard-hitting as you wish it to be.
  • be consistent with our values.


You must submit your entry by midnight on 24 July 2020. We cannot accept entries after that date, nor will we permit subsequent changes.

We will let entrants whose work we would like to show know by 31 July.


There will be three judges for the challenge, including at least one established nature communicator and one Hen Harrier Action trustee. We will be able to say more on this in July.

Summary of rewards for entry

All eligible entries will be given publicity and a national platform on our website and other social media.

The best entries, up to six, will be shown as part of Hen Harrier Day Online and retained on our platforms subsequently.

The creator of the entry the judges decide is the best will be interviewed about their work for showing with their entry during the event. They will also be awarded a prize of £250.

The creators of the second and third best entries will be awarded prizes of £100 and £50 respectively.


You must be aged 29 or under on 8 August 2020 and resident in the UK.

You may submit more than one entry.

Joint entries are permitted up to a maximum of three people. All contributors must meet the age and UK residency rule and be credited appropriately. Prizes will be divided proportionately.

By entering, you agree to be interviewed about your work for the online event if asked.

By submitting your entry, you grant permission for its use it in connection with Hen Harrier Day Online in 2020, including on our website and other social media. We will always give proper credits and you will otherwise retain ownership and copyright.

The immediate family of Hen Harrier Action trustees and those closely involved with organising Hen Harrier Day Online are ineligible.

Entries which do not meet the design brief in full or which in the opinion of the judges promote misinformation will be disqualified.

In preparing your entry, you must not:

  • break lockdown rules.
  • break the law regarding disturbance of nesting birds.
  • put rare birds at risk because of your actions or movements.
  • make unsolicited approaches to leading figures for interview. If you have a proposal for that, send a developed pitch in early and we may be able to help.

The opinion of the judges will be final. Unfortunately, we cannot undertake to give feedback in relation to entries other than those selected for inclusion in Hen Harrier Day Online.

By submitting your entry, it is understood that you have read and agreed to the rules of the competition.

How to enter

Please click here to go to a simple entry form on which you can tell us how to access your entry. You can also message us there about getting your entry to us.

There is no entry fee.