Dorset Wildlife Trust has launched a new photographic award to encourage a generation of mobile phone snappers to take a closer look at wildlife.

The Pat Dolbear Photographic Award for Young People was launched this month at the Dorset County Show, aiming to get under-18s interested in some of our smaller nature by using their mobiles and digital cameras.

The award is the idea of expert photographer Ken Dolbear, a long-standing member of DWT from Portland and is dedicated to the memory of his wife Pat, who died this year.

Ken has amassed thousands of images over the years, recently very generously donating the vast majority to DWT.

Prizes of up to £25 in Amazon gift tokens will be given to one or more of the young photographers who, in the opinion of the judging panel, submit the best work each month.

The project has been adopted as part of DWT’s Champion Dorset’s Wildlife initiative, a Heritage Lottery Funded Look Again project launched this year, with the object of promoting and supporting local community groups to reconnect with local wildlife and their natural heritage.

Joy Wallis, community conservation officer at Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “The photographic award invites young people, using mobiles or digital cameras, to obtain some really stunning images of wildlife in the county – the more unusual the better.

“The judging panel will be looking primarily for the best photographic quality but will also be interested in the subject matter’s rarity, its location and the creativity that has produced an image of truly high calibre.

“Ken would very much like the competition to be steered towards obtaining photographs of mini-beasts and rarities rather than the larger and sometimes more regularly recorded fauna such as swans, squirrels and robins.”

The monthly winners and runners-up work will be showcased on Facebook and Twitter and may even feature in DWT’s magazine or its monthly e-news bulletin Wildlife Matters.

Some of the images obtained may also benefit DWT’s conservation work by expanding its photographic data base of wildlife in the county.

To enter the Pat Dolbear Photographic Award, send photos to photocomp@dorsetwildlife including your name and age and some detail about when and where the photo was taken.

Winners will be notified by email.