Reaching the heights through photographing the depths



An image taken by a photographer working with a Heriot-Watt research diving team has won a prize in the 2015 Scottish Nature Photography Awards.

Photographer George Stoyle is working with the Heriot-Watt Scientific Dive Team on the Dornoch Firth Environmental Enhancement Project (DEEP), a triple-helix partnership between The Glenmorangie Company, Heriot-Watt University and the Marine Conservation Society. DEEP aims to research shellfish reefs as part of a long-term biogenic enhancement programme for the benefit of nature, business and the community, starting with the Dornoch Firth. The project includes the historic and present-day distribution of shellfish habitats and other environmental factors.

'Refuge' by George Stoyle, taken during the project, shows a butterfish taking refuge in a Horse Mussel shell. It was awarded third prize in the Scottish Wildlife Portrait category of the Awards, which celebrate nature, wildlife and landcape photography in Scotland through the work of professional and amateur photographers.