The National Trust has done a dramatic U-turn after it banned pictures of a popular Devon beauty spot from a prestigious landscape photography competition.
The climbdown came despite the trust repeatedly insisting it was not prepared to allow pictures of the National Trust-owned Lundy Island in Devon to be entered into the Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year contest, under strict rules that ban commercial use of photographs taken at its properties.
It seemed that the trust?s rulebook extended to an entire island when the National Trust Photo Library told a photographer that it ?couldn?t agree to these images being used in conjunction with advertising for the competition and/or their sponsors?.
Rules for the Take a View contest limit future use of entries to purposes ?connected with the competition?.
However, mindful of the National Trust’s history of protecting picture use, the photographer – who declined to be named – had thought it prudent to check whether the images complied with the rules.
In an email from the National Trust last week, the prospective entrant was told: ?I?m afraid that the [competition] T&Cs do not meet our requirements. We would be happy for you to bring this matter to the attention of the competition organisers ? and for them to discuss aspects of their T&Cs with us.?
And only this morning a National Trust spokesperson confirmed the ban, telling Amateur Photographer (AP): ?We?re big fans of photo competitions and we?ll always give permission where we can.
?We just felt that on this occasion the T&Cs didn?t give us the scope to say for sure that our own interests as an independent charity wouldn?t be compromised.?
However, minutes later ? in a complete reversal – the National Trust?s director of communications Ivo Dawney overruled the decision.
He told AP: ?We do have a rulebook about what is and what is not allowed, which has a rationale intended to protect our interests. However, in a case like this we are happy for the photographs to be used.?
Last year the National Trust sent picture agency Alamy a list of 10,000 images that the trust believed may have breached its strict policy on photo use.
The National Trust bought Lundy Island in 1969.
The National Trust charges adults £29.50 for access to the island, a fee that includes the price of the ferry ticket.