Winners of RSPCA Young Photographer Awards revealed
Ben's image of a mountain hare at sunset scooped first prize in the prestigious RSPCA photography competition.

Ben Harrot scooped first prize for his image of a mountain hare at sunset.

The winners of the 2022 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards have been revealed, with 17-year-old Ben Harrot clinching the top prize of a weekend photography break.

Ben was crowned overall winner for his image of a mountain hare at sunset. Judges praised his ability to capture the rare encounter with such a shy animal, and the bravery of the near-abstract composition.

He said: “I’m so happy that the judges liked my photo of a Mountain Hare so much. Winter at my local moorland is often cold, and this particular day was freezing! The winter sun was out which didn't help at all, and after walking for hours I finally spotted this mountain hare. 

“After an hour of steady approach, I was the closest I've ever been to a mountain hare. The sun was setting, and the mountain hare was fully relaxed in my presence, so I was able to photograph this individual up close as the sun was going down.”

This is not the first time Ben has won an award in the RSPCA annual photo competition for young people. In the 2021 awards, he was named runner-up in the portfolio category for a series of red fox images. 

The RSPCA Young Photographer Awards invites youngsters aged 18 years and under to capture the animal kingdom on a camera or a mobile device. 

Other prize winners included Lily Logan from Yorkshire, who was a runner-up in the 12-15 mobile category with her portrait of Angus the cat; Thomas Easterbrook, from Buckinghamshire, whose image of an orange tip butterfly was commended in the Small World category and Demmi Havenhand from Northumberland for ‘Baby Face’, her portrait of puppy Carrie, which won the Pet Personalities category. 

The judging panel included wildlife photographer, TV presenter and RSPCA vice president Chris Packham; wildlife photographer Rachel Bigsby, former competition winner-turned-professional photographer Catriona Parfitt; professional wildlife photographer and photographic guide Ellie Rothnie; and RSPCA photographers Andrew Forsyth and Emma Jacobs. 

Ben received a weekend photographic "Deer Rut Special" break with the crew at Natures Images of award-winning wildlife photographer Danny Green. Winners in each category also received trophies and a variety of gifts. 

Image (C) Ben Harrot/RSPCA.