A WEYMOUTH art competition inspired by beautiful butterflies has revealed the winning entries.

The Castle Cove Butterfly Bash - launched to beat the lockdown blues - attracted an astonishing 92 entries from local artists, school children and nature-lovers, after being launched by community group the Friends of Castle Cove, a charity which looks after the beach.

The Butterfly Bash was launched last month in a bid to lift spirits and get people enjoying nature again. It challenged residents and beach lovers to construct their own butterfly, using any medium they liked.

Participats were encouraged to paint, draw, crochet or weld their creation - all types of materials and ideas were welcomed by the Friends group - and it went down a storm with nature lovers.

“The response was astonishing,” said Castle Cove trustee Vicki Thomas, one of the organisers of the competition.

"We had 92 entries, from Weymouth, Bridport, Gillingham and even London. The youngest entrant was two years old - people have drawn, painted, modelled, needle-felted, crocheted... the creativity has been inspiring.”

Entry to the competition was free for all ages - organisers say the sole aim was "to cheer people up in difficult times".

Winners of the younger age categories have been awarded butterfly packs so that they can 'grow their own' butterflies.

The joint winners of the under-18 and adult categories win the star prize - a two-hour post-lockdown workshop with popular local artist Olivia Nurrish.

“We’re so pleased to have lifted people’s spirits,” said Vicki. “These are dark times, but this competition was a ray of sunlight. Teachers wrote to us saying how much it had helped and it certainly cheered me up. Each night I got home and found another batch of butterflies on my computer - people’s creativity really made my day.”

Vicki and fellow organiser Alexa Beazer sorted the entries into age categories and sent them to independent judges, where the creations were judged anonymously.

Alexa Beazer added: “It was so inspiring - the entrants really got into the spirit of the competition. It’s been great to focus on something so upbeat.”

Here are the winners of the Castle Cove Butterfly Bash art competition:

- ages 0-7 group winner: Tilly Tanner, age four.

Judge Pat March said: “This one flew out at me straight away as being joyously individual and undirected. It made me smile and that's what butterflies should do.”

- ages 0-7 runner-up: Lillie Laing.

- ages 8-11 group winner: Harry Best, Peacock Butterfly. Judge Alistair Homer said: “I thought the use of colours in general and the eye-spots particularly, was quite brilliant and quite detailed.”

- ages 8-11 runner up: Rafferty Heath, Adonis Blue. Judge's comment: "The background habitat I thought extremely imaginative and clever."

Special mention to Orange-tip by Betty Woodhouse; Purple Emperor by Jack Marsh and Marsh Fritillary by Faith Pirwell.

- Adult category joint winners: Charlie Pascoe,16, and Ryan Townsend.

- Adult category runner up: Lynne Thomas.