Clapton teenager wins London wildlife photography prize with shot of flying owl

Mabley Green Community Meadow also wins prize

A GCSE pupil has won a pan-London photography award for his picture of an owl mid-flight.

Adam Hawkins, 16, of Daubeney Road, Lower Clapton spotted this barn owl in Dagenham and took 300 shots before he found the one he wanted.

The resulting image won high praise from the judges of the Life Between the Lines competition, run jointly between the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and London Underground.

Adam, a year 11 student at Hackney’s Petchey Academy in Shacklewell Lane, Dalston, said he was happy he had won the prize and was excited about going on a day workshop with a professional wildlife photographer.

He added: “I got the winning photograph by placing myself at a good viewpoint and being lucky with where the bird moved to, and I found it quite easy.

“I felt quite confident that I would win the prize but I wasn’t completely sure about the level of competition in the under 18s category.”

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Adam’s school house master, Shaun Manley, said: “Adam’s a model student who sets himself high standards and the award is proof of his outstanding approach to life, The Petchey Academy is proud of him.”

Life Between the Lines was created to showcase the wildlife that lives in London, and as well as sourcing photographs it rewarded projects supporting wildlife.

First prize went to Mabley Green Community Meadow in Lee Conservancy Road, Hackney Wick.

One of the organisers, Christopher King, said he was delighted by the recognition. An army of volunteers has transformed the meadow, planting bulbs, shrubs and wildflowers and increasing the number of bees and birds recorded on the site.

RSPB London manager Martyn Foster said: “This competition shows what an amazing variety of wildlife can be found in London, but better still, it brings out the best in Londoners. Every entrant had a special connection with the images they captured. It also highlights how much voluntary work goes in to creating and enjoying pocket-sized ‘Edens’ across the Capital, where people come together with nature.”