Author: Chris Philpot
Photographs of a former asylum in Queensland, a picturesque jetty in Albany and a magical Tasmanian gorge have been named winners of Planet Ark's national photography competition ‘Snap Some Wood'.
The competition is an initiative of Planet Ark's ‘Make It Wood - Do Your World Some Good' campaign, which promotes the environmental benefits of using responsibly sourced wood as a building material. Entrants were asked to submit a photo showing the versatility or beauty of wood.
One of the top spots was awarded to a photograph of former asylum Wolston Park, near Brisbane, captured by Chez Watts.
A beautiful shot of Little Grove Jetty in Albany, Western Australia, took out equal first place. Photographer Kelly Gerdes explained that she was inspired to take the image due to the leading lines created by the jetty out to the horizon.
"I would like to say a huge thank you to Planet Ark for running this competition and also the work they are doing to promote the awareness of the benefits that responsibly sourced wood can have on the environment," said Gerdes.The People's Choice Award-winning image of Notley Gorge in Tasmania was captured by Gemmie Claire Alliston. The photo was voted the most popular entry by the Make It Wood Facebook community.
Other competition entries ranged from photos of wooden building frames, iconic piers, valuable chests, furniture and fencing, highlighting both the environmental benefits of wood as well as its versatility, adaptability and beauty.
"Planet Ark is running this campaign to raise awareness of the environmental benefits of using responsibly sourced wood to make furniture or construct buildings and landmarks," said Make it Wood Campaign Manager Chris Philpot.
"Although most people are aware that trees release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide as they grow, many don't realise that the carbon remains locked up in the wood even after it is harvested. Up to 50% of wood's dry weight is made up of carbon, making wood unique amongst materials for storing rather than emitting carbon."
Planet Ark is urging everybody to choose responsibly sourced wood when building, renovating or choosing furniture. As the carbon benefits of wood products are based upon the trees being responsibly harvested, consumers need to look for wood that is independently certified by schemes such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) to ensure high conservation value forests are protected.