An Andover teenager has won the top prize for their wildlife photography in the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards.

Ellis Owen’s picture, ‘Urban Kingfisher’, beat off competition from more than 11,000 others to win the 12-15 category.

The 15-year-old took a picture of a female Kingfisher sitting on railings in the town centre, next to the River Anton. The prize includes a “prestigious” trophy, an exclusive photoshoot at an RSPCA animal centre, £350 of Amazon vouchers and a PIR Motion Sensor and cable.

Ellis said: “I am so pleased the judges liked my photo.

“This image was taken on a busy day in the middle of Andover Town Centre. The River Anton flows through the crowded high street meaning typically only mallards choose to inhabit this area. However last Winter a female kingfisher decided to spend the cold months fishing on this river, occasionally venturing right by the nearby Supermarket.

“I wanted to get a shot through these rings where she liked to hunt but it was a challenge. Finally after weeks of persistence I managed to get a shot and it's one of my favourites to this day.”

The awards were judged blind online, with judges including TV presenter Chris Packham, BBC drone pilot Sam Rowley, wildlife photographer Catriona Parfitt, photographic guide Ellie Rothnie,and nature photographer Julian Cox as well as the RSPCA’s multimedia manager and senior photographer.

Ellis’ win, along with those in the other eight categories, were announced during an online awards ceremony hosted by Chris Packham on Thursday, 17 December. As well as various age categories, there were also prizes for the best picture taken on a mobile phone, as well as pictures of pets.

Chris 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.

“The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards is a true celebration of the animal kingdom and one I feel honoured to be involved with. Every person shortlisted should be proud of their contribution to a world that’s kinder to all animals.”

To see all the winning pictures, including Ellis’, please click here.