2021 will perhaps be remembered as a time when the world remained in the grip of a global health crisis. We hope that these nature photographs, in some small way, will help to lift your spirits. Science has shown that simply viewing images of nature can boost your immune system, as well as lower your heart rate and improve your mood. So if the idea of being out in the wider world fills you with dread, then why not look at these evocative images - and let them transport you to faraway places.
Guy Edwardes / Pair of Marbled white butterflies (Melanargia galathea) on Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis) at sunrise, Dorset, England, UK. July.
Guy Edwardes / Clustered bonnet fungi (Mycena inclinata) growing in moss, New Forest National Park, Hampshire, England, UK. Focus stacked image. October.
Mateusz Piesiak / Pair of Mute swans (Cygnus olor) at sunrise on misty lake. Poland, March.
Will Burrard-Lucas / Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) looking out to sea, Grimsey Island, Iceland. June
Konrad Wothe / Firefly (Lamprohiza splendidula) light trails of males in forest at dusk, Bavaria, Germany. July.
Erlend Haarberg / Mountain hares (Lepus timidus) fighting in snow at night, Vauldalen, Norway, April.
Ross Hoddinott / Banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) male silhouetted on a fern, Lower Tamar Lakes, Cornwall, UK. July.
Alex Mustard / Wild Indian Ocean bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops adunctus) swimming with a golden retriever dog (Canis lupus familiaris). Gubal Island, Egypt, Red Sea, Indian Ocean.
Will Burrard-Lucas / Drone shot of Fagradalsfjall Volcano erupting, with lava flow from crater. Iceland, Europe. June 2021.
Will Burrard-Lucas / Tourists watching eruption of Fagradalsfjall Volcano, Iceland, Europe. May 2021.
Eduardo Blanco / Volcanic eruption, Cumbre Vieja Volcano, La Palma, Canary Islands. September 2021
Eduardo Blanco / Close up lava from volcanic eruption, Cumbre Vieja Volcano, La Palma, Canary Islands. September 2021
Oliver Wright / A female kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) fishing, diving into an ice hole in winter. Leeds, Yorkshire, UK. January. Sequence 2 of 4.
Oliver Wright / A female kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) fishing through an ice hole in winter. Leeds, Yorkshire, UK. January.
Markus Varesvuo / Male Black grouse (Tetrao / Lyrurus tetrix) at lek, with breath condensing in cold air. Kuusamo, Finland, April.
Markus Varesvuo / Two male Black grouse (Tetrao / Lyrurus tetrix) fighting at lek. Utajarvi, Finland, April.
Milan Radisics / Female Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) walking along tree trunk in heavy fog at night. Light source behind the subject creates dramatic volumetric lighting. Vertes Mountains, Hungary.
Eric Baccega / Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) female, Huan Huan, holding cub aged one month, Beauval ZooPark, France. 9 September 2021.
Andy Sands / Slime mould (Comatricha lurida) 2mm tall sporangia growing along the edge of a rotting beech leaf, Buckinghamshire, England, UK, March - Focus stacked.
Andy Sands / Slime mould (Lamproderma scintillans) super close up of 1mm tall sporangia, Buckinghamshire, England, UK, March Focus Stacked.
Gerrit Vyn / Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) male displaying on lek. Fort Pierre National Grassland, South Dakota, USA. When displaying, the males erect earlike plumes on the head and blow up bright o...
Alex Mustard / Compass jellyfish (Chrysaora hysoscella) with sunburst close to the surface, Cornwall, UK,.English Channel.
Alex Mustard / Leather corals (Sarcophyton sp.) fluoresce at night under blue light on a coral reef. Laamu Atoll, Maldives. Indian Ocean.
Bruno D'Amicis / Red fox (Vulpes vulpes) walking among rock boulders partially covered in snow on a mountain top. Central Apennines, Abruzzo, Italy. February.
Andy Rouse / Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) in morning light, UK. June.
Oliver Wright / Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) singing during the morning at St Aidens RSPB reserve near Leeds, UK. April.
Tony Wu / Mimika bobtail squid (Euprymna morsei), threat display at camera. Hokkaido, Japan.
Shane Gross / Close-up detail of the eye of a Red Irish lord fish (Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus) showing distinctive corneal chromatophores (pigment-containing structures). Browning Pass, Vancouver Island, British C...
Pal Hermansen / Dippers (Cinclus cinclus) on partially frozen river, Viken,Norway. Highly Commended in Birds Category of GDT photo competition 2021.
Andy Rouse / Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) buck in morning light, UK. May.
Alex Mustard / Young and adult Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) gathered on rocks in the sea. Treshnish Isles, Southern Hebrides, Scotland, UK. Sea of Hebrides, North East Atlantic Ocean.
Tui De Roy / Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) and Sally-lightfoot crabs (Grapsus grapsus) on rocks at high-tide with sea spray, Galapagos Islands, South America.
David Pattyn / Mute swan (Cygnus olor) in early morning light. Valkenhorst nature reserve, Valkenswaard, The Netherlands. May.
Graham Eaton / Barn owl (Tyto alba) flying at night over track between trees, Pwllheli, Wales, UK. April. Runner-up in Nature and Wildlife category of Monivisions Photography Awards 2021.
Tony Wu / Male Leach's sea star (Leiaster leachi) broadcast spawning, releasing streams of sperm from its arms. Kagoshima Prefecture, Kyushu, Japan.
Markus Varesvuo / Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) flying in snow, Mainua, Kajaani, Finland. March. Finalist in the Swiss Vogelwarte photo competition 2021.
Eduardo Blanco / Snow covered trees in the Sotos del Alfaro Natural Reserve, Alfaro, La Rioja province, Spain. January.
Ross Hoddinott / Water droplets on leaf creating a natural pattern, Tresco Tropical Garden, Tresco, Isle of Scilly, Cornwall, UK. June.
Edwin Giesbers / Abstract image of ice on a car window, Netherlands.
Tony Wu / Japanese dwarf flying squirrel (Pteromys volans orii) gliding through snowy forest, Hokkaido, Japan.
Claudio Contreras / Mexican Fiddler Crab (Leptuca crenulata) male displaying, Morua Estuary, near Rocky Point, Gulf of California, Mexico, June.
Mark Taylor / Forced perspective photo of a horse appearing to stand on a dog's back, UK.
Guy Edwardes / Incoming tide at Dal Beag beach, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK. July.
Maxime Aliaga / Golden-tailed sapphire (Chrysuronia oenone) in flight. Pilcopata, Cuzco, Peru. May.
Andy Rouse / African lion (Panthera leo) female silhouetted, yawning at dawn, Masai Mara, Kenya, Africa.
David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) with young chick on its back. Valkenhorst nature reserve, Valkenswaard, The Netherlands.May.
Guy Edwardes / Common Stump bristlestem fungi (Psathyrella piluliformis) large cluster fruiting on fallen Beech trunk, New Forest National Park, Hampshire, England, UK. Focus stacked image. October.
Jack Dykinga / Ironwood Forest National Monument, Arizona. Sunset light with whispy clouds over Ragged Top Mountain in the Silverbell range.