It’s wild celebrations!

Owen Hearne
Owen Hearne

A talented Stewkley photographer was the winner in a competition judging his portfolio - at just 15 years old, 
writes Amanda Devlin.

Owen Hearn, of High Street South, was up against 19 talented young photographers in the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards.

TV personality, wildlife expert and RSPCA vice president Chris Packham led a judging panel of industry professionals and hosted the award ceremony at the Tower of London last month.

Owen, who was also runner-up in the 12-15 Years category with his Chinese Water Deer piece, said: “One morning while doing my usual rounds of the farm and surrounding field, the place was alive with wildlife – foxes, hares, yellow hammers and all the other regulars but my main focus was on the Chinese water deer.

“I spotted three of them at the bottom of one of the fields so I got against the hedge and settled down, downwind of them and in full camouflage so if they came closer they probably wouldn’t see me but may hear the shutter.

“After a lot of chasing each other at the bottom of the field they split up with one running straight towards me, with the great light too he made quite a nice shot.”

And speaking about his piece Fox in the Snow that he was commended for, Owen said: “While photographing fallow deer in some local woods in the snow, the real stars of the show were the foxes.

“With several consecutive showers of snow I knew food would have been scarce so I was in the woods under the cover of darkness waiting by a small field where the fallow deer regularly congregated as it was easy pickings eating the grass a couple of inches under the snow.

“As it got into half light the fallow deer were busy feeding but what caught my attention was the amount of foxes, they were everywhere!

“This individual was sat on a ridge almost posing for the camera.”

Owen also won Veolia Environment Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2012.