The stunning winners of the British Wildlife Photography Awards

A ghostly picture of bats, a lurking spider and a skittish squirrel: The stunning winners of the British Wildlife Photography Awards

This haunting image of bats swooping over a still pool of water in Coate Water Country Park, Wiltshire, was named the overall winner in the contest. Paul Colley, who took the photo, used an infrared camera and specialised lighting system to capture the mammals in the darkness. It took him 14 months to get this shot

This amazing picture of a mountain hare cowering in the cold in the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands won Andrew Parkinson the gong in the habitat category

A nursery web spider waits for her prey in this low-lit shot by Andrew McCarthy. The photograph, taken in Devon, came first in the ‘hidden Britain’ category 

Tesni Ward photographed a bright-eyed badger (left) ambling through the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire. The image came top in the ‘animal portrait’ category. Sunil Gopalan captured a Great Skua feasting on a puffin (right) in the wilds of Fair Isle in Shetland, northern Scotland. The photograph came top in the ‘animal behaviour’ category

Lucy Farrell, aged nine, captured this incredible close-up shot of a cockchafer bug on a patch of moss in Cumbria. It came first in the under-12 years category

James Roddie took this superb shot of a frosty woodland in the Scottish Highlands. It came first in the ‘wild woods’ category

A skittish Scottish red squirrel was captured by Neil Mcintyre darting around Rothiemurchus Forest in Scotland. His shot won in the ‘British seasons’ category

Robert Canis ventured down to Kingsgate Bay in Kent at dawn to take this atmospheric shot of a kelp bed

Ivan Carter, aged 17, was the winner of the 12 to 18 years category with this shot of tadpoles in a pool of water at Walmer Castle in Kent 

Ben Watkins won in the ‘documentary series’ category with photographs that charted the journey of a herd of grey seals being rehabilitated and released into the wild

A lesser black-backed gull soars above stormy waters off the coast of New Haven in East Sussex. Craig Denford, who took the shot, was named the winner of the ‘coast and marine’ category

A magpie teeters on a fence, surrounded by a blanket of snow. The wintry image, taken by Christopher Swan in Glasgow, came top in the ‘urban wildlife’ category 

Dozens of goose barnacles cling to the rocks at Sanna Bay in Kilchoan, Scotland. The photo, taken by David Bennett, came first in the ‘close to nature category’

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