Colourful postcards featuring artwork from young artists have been unveiled to mark the 10th birthday of the South Downs National Park.
Earlier this year the National Park teamed up with music, art and drama festival MADhurst to organise a children’s wildlife art competition.
Scores of children from across the South East took part – many of whom were staying at home during the lockdown.
The winner in the under-5 category is Harry Whitbread with his barn owl artwork, while the 6-8 category has been won by Rufus Robertson with his depiction of a sand lizard. Winning the 9-11 group is Beatrix Cuss with her artistry of a red kite.
Rufus, from South Harting, said: “I feel excited to win. It’s been tough not being at school so it’s come at a good time.
“I love drawing and being outdoors in the Downs, especially on my bike. I like to try and spot animals like deer and foxes.”
Beatrix, from Petersfield, said: “I was very happy and excited when I found out that I had won. I love nature and going for walks, especially when I see dogs!“
Harry’s mum, Charlotte von Bulow Quirk, of Sevenoaks, Kent, added: “Harry is so excited to have won first prize. He absolutely loves animals and nature and spends hours observing and drawing everything he sees. He’s fascinated by how everything has its place in nature and how all the animals co-exist and have their role to play, such as bees pollinating plants.”
The runners-up are Frederick Mileman in the under-5s with his otter artwork, Archie Holloway in the 6-8 category with his toad design, and Isaac Gomes with his depiction of a barn owl.
Zara Kelleway, who works for the National Park and is one of the organisers of the competition, said: “We’ve been so impressed by the standard of the artwork and it’s been lovely to see so many youngsters inspired by the beautiful wildlife on our doorstep.”
The postcards will be available from the South Downs Centre in Midhurst. Any profit from sales of the postcards will be donated to the South Downs National Park Trust, the official charity of the National Park.