HAMPSHIRE youngsters who love nature are being invited to take place in a wildlife competition.

The Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has launched a new competition enabling 11 to 25-year-olds to improve their area for both people and wildlife.

It is offering four prizes of £400 to run projects that involve communities in making a local space a better home for nature.

There are four categories, with a prize to be awarded in small spaces, school grounds, urban places and rural communities

Projects could include creating an allotment in school grounds, organising a beach-cleaning group, installing window boxes on urban streets, or building feeding stations for garden birds.

In addition to the prize money, the trust will provide winners with expert advice on running their projects and support from Becky O’Melia, the trust’s education and engagement manager.

All winners will be invited to a high-profile event in October.

The competition is open to both individuals and groups, which can be made up of friends, families, or organised groups like school classes and Scout Troops with the deadline for applications is June 14.

All entrants to the competition must be aged 11 to 25-year-old and living in either Hampshire or the Isle of Wight.

Projects must also take place in one of the two counties.

The competition is funded by Southern Co-op. Speaking of the opportunity, Southern Co-op’s director of sustainability and communications, Gemma Lacey, said, “We want to encourage people to connect with our natural world. This competition will give young people the chance to make this connection and learn more about our environment, our wildlife and its value. They are our future and, together with support from us and others, they can have a positive impact on our environment for decades to come.”

Becky O’Melia, added: "We’re really keen to empower more young people to be on nature’s side so we are delighted that Southern Coop are supporting us to provide this prize to young people taking action in their local patch. We can’t wait to see the amazing projects which get submitted."

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust aims to create a better future for wildlife and wild places in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

To apply call 01489774400.