More primary school pupils than ever before entered this year's children's art and writing competitions run by the countryside charity CPRE Devon. Many schools took part for the first time, including several in Plymouth and Exeter.
After careful deliberation, the top individual prizes went to a five-year-old girl from Exeter and two ten-year-old girls from Tavistock.
The winner of the Key Stage 1 category of the art competition was 5-year-old Florence Farnell from Bowhill Primary School in Exeter. Her charming painting was entitled ‘A walk in Danes Wood near Killerton’. Bowhill also had some Highly Commended entries.
The winning picture in the Key Stage 2 category was by 10-year-old Rose Greenhill from Whitchurch Primary School in Tavistock who did a lovely painting of the seaside.
Whitchurch also won Best Overall School because of the quality of all the really colourful paintings it submitted.
Highly Commended prizes in the art competition were awarded to children from St Mary's Catholic Primary School in Buckfast, Newtown in Exeter, Sparkwell in the South Hams, Wembury near Plymouth, Beechwood in Plymouth and Hatherleigh Primary School.
In the writing competition, which also received lots of entries, children were asked to complete the phrase: “I think it's important to protect Devon's countryside because…”
St Mary's in Buckfast won Best Overall School for its written entries. The Individual Winner was 10-year-old Marney Cruise from Whitchurch Primary School, who wrote very neatly and without any mistakes: “If we carry on building on green space there won't be any room for wildlife. There are lots of houses for humans but we are still building more in the habitats (homes) of animals. Litter is a big part of the problem. The council need to conduct more litter picks. We may then have a cleaner safer county.”
Among the Highly Commended entries was this from 9-year-old Imogen Garland from Sparkwell: “It's an amazing place to be in, you can hear all the birds tweeting and see all the beautiful wildlife around you. I would be very disappointed if it was destroyed by humans actions.”
Penny Mills, Director of CPRE Devon, said: “We were delighted to receive pictures of the moors, beaches, school gardens, parks and woodland. We were very impressed with the overall quality of entries from the children, in both the painting and writing competitions, who showed that they had really thought about the many reasons why the countryside is important and special and had used their creativity to express themselves in pictures and words “
Penny added, “CPRE Devon's two children's competitions are a fun way to encourage outdoor learning and help youngsters engage with and enjoy the great outdoors. There's something for every child who's prepared to put pen to paper, either to create a piece of artwork or a short piece of writing which captures the beauty and variety of Devon’s natural environment.”
The competitions are simple to enter and there are prizes for individual winners as well as their school, including a £200 prize towards outdoor learning initiatives for the Best Overall School. Each child who enters also wins a badge featuring CPRE Devon’s Countryside Ambassador, Barney the Bull.