THE Weir Garden at Swainshill proved to be the perfect inspiration for a talented ten-year-old who produced a beautiful watercolour that has made the shortlist for a regional art competition.

The competition asked youngsters across the Midlands to come up with artwork inspired by a National Trust site and the ‘Weir Garden’ painting, from an unknown youngster was named in the top 30.

The winner will be announced in August, but artist Shelly Perkins praised the individuality and ability of the entrants.

She said: “It was extremely difficult to create a shortlist as the quality of entries was so good.

“The young artists showed excellent observation of wildlife, composition, use of different media and colour.”

The overall winner, plus two lucky runners-up will receive a half-day’s drawing lesson from Ms Perkins, and see their own artwork printed onto canvas to hang in their home.

More than 165 paintings were entered, from children ranging from three to twelve-years-old.

“The pictures showed a real love of wildlife and the outdoors,” said The National Trust’s Head of Conservation in the Midlands, Catherine MacCarthy, who is responsible for 33, 000 hectares of countryside, gardens and parkland.

“We are privileged to care for a rich variety of natural landscapes here in the Midlands and know that engaging children with the outdoors and wildlife helps to build a connection with nature that lasts a lifetime.”