WEYMOUTH'S Friends of Castle Cove Beach group has launched a new competition designed to lift people's spirits during lockdown: The Castle Cove Butterfly Bash.

The idea of the competition is simple. There are four age groups – seven and under, eight to eleven; 12 to 18, and adult.

To enter, all you need to do is create an image of a butterfly in any medium you like – you can draw, paint, knit, sculpt, take a photograph - or use any other format.

Email a photograph of the finished work to the organisers to be in with a chance of winning - there are prizes for each category.

“It’s a celebration of the natural beauty that we see all around us in Weymouth and Portland,” says Friends of Castle Cove Beach charity trustee Victoria Thomas.

“We want to remind people of life after lockdown, and that despite this crisis, nature is carrying on all around us. We want to lift people’s spirits in this difficult time, and to get them drawing, taking photographs and crafting in celebration of the wildlife on our doorstep.”

The two younger age group winners will receive a Butterfly Garden Set, so they can grow their own butterflies.

The winner of the 12-18 year-old category will be rewarded with a two-hour post-lockdown workshop with well-known local artist Olivia Nurrish.

The winner of the adult category will receive a butterfly identification book that has not yet been published: A Kaleidoscope of Butterflies, by Johnathan Bradley.

“You don’t even have to leave the house to enter this competition,” says Victoria. “You can look out of the window, or use your imagination. You can paint a real butterfly or draw a make-believe one - we just want to celebrate butterflies.”

The competition closes at midnight on June 5. People can send as many entries as they like; entries should be emailed to butterflies@friendsofcastlecovebeach.co.uk including your name and age group.

Winners will be announced on the Friends of Castle Cove Beach Facebook page on June 19, where you can also find more information about the competition, and the winners will also be notified by email.

Friends of Castle Cove Beach Charity is a community-based group that promotes access to Castle Cove Beach, and celebrates natural heritage. The competition is free to enter but donations are welcomed.