Winners of the National Geographic Photo Contest 2015 – in pictures

A humpback whale and her newborn calf scooped the first prize in National Geographic’s annual photography competition. More than 17,000 entries were submitted, whittled down to three winners and seven recognised on merit

10 of the world’s best natural wonders … that you’ve probably never heard of

From Europe’s deepest river canyon and caves that glow to a rainbow river and hills that look like chocolate, our picks prove that nature always does it better.

Never mind the election – vote now for the UK’s national bird

Never mind who runs the country: choosing Britain’s national bird, from a shortlist of 10, is also the subject of a hotly contested vote. Here are the more elusive species and where to spot them

Nature travel writers on the UK places that inspire them

The winner of the Thwaites Wainwright Prize 2015, John Lewis-Stempel, and shortlisted authors William Atkins and Philip Marsden, reveal the sights and sounds of the countryside that move them and compel them to write

Caught by the lens: the hidden secrets of nature – in pictures

Here are 20 pictures – including extreme closeups of cats’ tongues and pollen grains – in this year’s Wellcome Image Awards