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RSPCA Young Photographer of the Year

Solitario George, captured by Lucy Hutton, from Northumberland, a winner in the RSPCA Young Photographer of the Year.

From scratching bears to angry owls: RSPCA reveals winners of Young Photographer prize

Will Metcalfe


These amazing images have been captured by some of the most promising wildlife photographers in the country.

The RSPCA has announced the winners of its Young Photographer Awards after judges, including Springwatch host and Really Wild Show veteran Chris Packham, whittled the best entries out of thousands of submissions.

Among them was a stunning image of the preserved body of the tortoise Lonesome George, the last of his kind captured by 17-year-old Lucy Hutton, from Northumberland.

Young photographers aged up to 18 were invited to capture the animal kingdom on camera or on a mobile device for this year’s awards.

Lucy beat 4,700 other photographs after entering ‘Solitario George’, as he is called in Spanish, into the new human impact on animals category.

Lonesome George is on display in a temperature-controlled room in the Charles Darwin Research Centre in the Galapagos.

Lucy said: “I am passionate about the conservation of endangered species and I believe that George’s body is a powerful reminder to humankind as to how our actions can be devastating to animals.

“It was quite a challenge to get this shot.

The awards were blind-judged by a panel of experts in wildlife photography.

BBC wildlife expert Chris Packham who sat as one of the judges said: “The photo of Lonesome George really stood out to all of us as it was a very powerful winning image.

“It told the story of species extinction through the tragic tale of an iconic creature which is recognised across the world.

“Taken in black and white, and by someone so young really increased its impact.

“The picture was very graphic, beautifully composed and was a stark reminder of the impact that humans can have on the natural world.”

The winning images across nine categories, which included three different age groups, were announced during an awards ceremony hosted by Chris at the Tower of London.

The judges’ special mention was Millie Rodgers, an 11-year-old from Derbyshire, who won the under 12 mobile phone and devices category with a close-up of her eye beside the eye of her pet dog Willow.

Along with the special mention, Millie won the under 12 mobile phone and devices category.

Other winners included a grey cat with startling blue eyes taken by 15-year-old Tia Bromley from Kent, a dog leaping to catch a tennis ball in a park by 17-year-old Ollie Ross in Derbyshire, and a scorpion on scorched sand by 18-year-old Aimee Bristow from Nottingham.

And the youngest winner was 10 year old Thomas Easterbrook who took top prize in the under 12 category after snapping his shot, ‘majestic raven’.

Last year’s overall winner, Gideon Knight, from Essex, bagged top prize, runner-up and commended in both the 16 to 18 and portfolio categories as well as runner-up in the human impact on animals category with an image of a sea gull eating rubbish from a plastic bag.

The 18-year-old’s portfolio focused on birds in nature.

Sophie Bramall from the West Midlands came runner-up in the picture perfect cats category with an image of a pet cat enjoying a spray of water.

Will Jenkins, a 15-year-old from London, was commended for his photo of a brown bear scratching himself on a beach.