THE city has discovered the next generation of top photographers thanks to a competition run alongside the biggest event in Headington’s calendar.

Educational charity Science Oxford was the driving force behind the competition, which was introduced as the latest addition to this year’s Headington Festival.

The competition, entitled ‘Wildlife in Your Neighbourhood’, challenged youngsters between the ages of four and 11 who live in and around Headington to capture images of anything related to the theme of ‘wildlife’.

A total of 80 entries were whittled down to a final 12 selected by a panel of judges across two age categories, four to seven and eight to 11, to be featured in the exhibition on the final day of Headington Festival.

One member of the judging panel was Science Oxford centre manager Mike Dennis who said: “The quality of the entries really took our breath away – there is so much creative talent in Headington.

“There were bugs, birds, trees and landscapes, frogs, bees and many dandelion clocks.

“Trying to choose just 12 for the exhibition was tricky and the judges all had their favourites.”

He added: “Science Oxford is opening a new education centre on Quarry Road in Headington next year, so we were delighted to work with [festival organisers] Headington Action on this competition as it’s enabled to us to engage young people, their families and schools in the area about what we’re doing.”

The new centre, currently under construction, will have 15 acres of woodland for young photographers to explore.

The winner of the four-to-seven-year-old category was Yasmin Bedford, six, with her entry ‘Smiling Maybug’, right.

Yasmin said: “We found this May bug on a garden seat. It climbed up to the top and held up its antennae. I took a picture of it before it flew off.

“It looked amazing when it flew.”

She added: “I like this picture because it looks like it is smiling.”

The two runners-up were Samir Ladha, five, with the entry ‘Afternoon Tea With a Bumble Bee in My Garden’ and Oscar Suffolk, seven, with ‘Squirrel in Bury Knowle Park.’

The winner of the eight-to-11-year-old category was Emma Ham, 10, with the photograph of a frog emerging from a pond, cleverly titled ‘They Can’t See Me Because I’m Wearing My ‘Croak’ of Invisibility.’

The two runners-up were Leila Collins, aged eight, with her entry ‘The Magic Woods - A Deer in The Bluebells at Shotover Park’, Emma Park, nine, with ‘Spider on My Door’ and Theo Goodrich Jones, also nine, with his entry ‘Lackey Moth Caterpillars at Otmoor.’