A Beaconsfield brother and sister were both awarded prizes in the thirtieth edition of the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards.

12-year-old Thomas Easterbrook and 10-year-old Tess Easterbrook, both entered the competition which urged children aged up to 18 to submit animal photos.

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The awards this year were judged online by a panel of experts in wildlife photography, including photographer and TV presenter and RSPCA Vice President Chris Packham.

In the Small World category, Thomas was praised for his close-up image of a flying bee carrying a leaf - ‘Busy Bee’, whilst Tess won first prize in the Under 12 category, for her image of a Suffolk Sedge Warbler.

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Thomas' photo

Their photos were picked from a record 11,000 entries.

Thomas said: “We had recently put a bee house on the wall of our garage when I noticed this leaf-cutter bee making use of several of the nesting cells.

“Over the course of a few days, I was able to work on capturing this bee in flight.

“It took many attempts, but I was eventually able to get this photograph of the bee in flight with a leaf.”

Tess Easterbrook added: “I am so pleased the judges liked my photo.

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“I took this one early morning at Hen Reed Beds in Suffolk. I really liked the beautiful colours and the light.”

Judge and awards host Chris Packham was incredibly impressed by this year’s entries especially with lockdown hampering chances for photo opportunities.

He said: “The quality of entries this year as the competition celebrates its 30th anniversary has been astounding.

“We felt that the lockdown ironically worked in all the young photographers' favour; they really did enter fantastic pictures.

“I’ve been judging the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards since they started.

"It’s exciting to have seen it move with the times, with new options regularly being introduced.

“This year we introduced a new category called Small World.

"We didn’t want our young photographers to feel limited by lockdown, so we devised this to inspire them to record what was close to home.

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Tess' photo

“We needn’t have worried though, as lockdown saw our entrants’ creativity and imagination soar.

“We’re also pleased that the Mobile Phone and Devices category continues because as no separate camera is required, this has really opened up the competition to almost anyone.”

“The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards is a true celebration of the animal kingdom and one I feel honoured to be involved with.

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“Every person shortlisted should be proud of their contribution to a world that’s kinder to all animals.”

“Top work to all the finalists and thank you for sharing and inspiring us with your passion for nature and photography.”

To view a full gallery of all the winning images, visit: https://young.rspca.org.uk/ypa/home.