Announcing the winners of the Nature Detectives woodland dæmon competition!
In spring we launched a competition with the world-famous author Philip Pullman. The challenge - to draw a dæmon (a human's animal counterpart) inspired by a woodland creature. We had some wonderful entries from children across the UK, showing huge amounts of talent, enthusiasm and a passion for wildlife.
From fearless foxes to majestic stags we were really inspired by the imaginative dæmons children created, and we loved reading the poems and stories that accompanied them.
Here are the two winners hand-picked by Philip Pullman.
Winner 11-16 years
Greta by Frankie Browne, aged 14.
Frankie drew this fantastic picture of Greta curled up in a comfy chair. Frankie really admires badgers and believes they are tough but cosy creatures. We loved the details in this drawing and how Greta looks right at home.
Frankie's prize was a hand-written description of Greta by Philip Pullman:
"Greta crouches on the chair like a small grey-clack-white cushion. But don't sit on her! She has claws. Before she knew any better she used to sharpen them on the red velvet. She gives way to no-one but Frankie. When they were young they ate Earthworms Bolognese together until Frankie was sick. She knows all the secrets of the roots of ancient trees."
Winner 0-10 years
Strix by Reuben Cowell, aged 10.
Reuben's dæmon is called Strix. She's very loyal and is Reuben's best pal, looking out for problems and advising him. We were really impressed with how life-like this drawing was and the intensity in Strix's eyes.
Here is Reuben's description of Strix written by Philip Pullman:
"The grey owl flies on silent wings like a thought that has left Reuben's mind. She can see what he can't imagine; she imagines it for him. She imagines it into vision and her whispered words, as she perches on his shoulder, her favourite place, bring it all back to him. She can see in the darkest night. Her cry terrifies ghosts.
Highly commended 11-16 years
Rusticitas by Sophie Crossley Herdeman, aged 12.
We loved this friendly fawn – she’s got a real glint in her eye! Sophie named her Rusticitas because it means ‘clumsy’ in Latin, very fitting for a newborn deer.
Rollio by Isabella Whiteside, aged 13.
We were really impressed by this atmospheric drawing of Rollio in the moonlight. Isabella chose a barn owl because they are smart so can give good advice.
Highly commended 0-10 years
Vulpexa by Ruby Wheeldon, aged 9.
This mischievous fox made us smile. The name is a mix of Vulpes (the Latin word for fox) and vixen (a female fox). Ruby also chose the fox because it’s ginger like her mam!
Ramble by Sophie Sykes, aged 10.
We thought this pencil drawing was so lifelike! Sophie chose a stag because they are shy and cautious, aggressive and strong, and loyal and brave.
Lyra was just nine months old when her mum entered her into the competition. She's actually named after the main character from Philip Pullman's Northern Lights! Lyra loves animals and being outside, and she shows you're never too young to be a Nature Detective.
Sam named his fox Stella because it means 'shining star' in Latin and he thinks foxes shine brighter than any other woodland animal. We love that these magnificent creatures give him a sense of peace and belonging.
Love trees and wildlife?
Become a family of Nature Detectives! Kids get their own exciting post packed with seasonal adventures, crafts, wildlife facts and competitions. It's a great way for youngsters to learn about our natural world, while helping us protect it for future generations. Find out more about Woodland Trust membership.