A 12-year-old from Hampshire has beaten more than 10,000 entries to claim this year?s RSPCA Young Photographer of the Year title.

Pictures entered by Catriona Parfitt were chosen from 29 shortlisted entries, bagging her an Olympus E-500 digital SLR, 14-45mm lens and £250 cash.

This year?s winners were announced earlier today at the Natural History Museum in London.

Catriona, who lives in Southampton, also won the portfolio category, a section which demanded pictures displaying ?consistent quality and fair?. For this Catriona won an Olympus SP-500 digital compact and a day on a photo shoot for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

Commenting on her winning pictures – which included a close-up photograph of an elephant (pictured) – Catriona said: ?This elephant was part of a family group in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.? She added: ?I liked this picture because of the way the dried mud gives the appearance of age wrinkles on the elephant?s forehead, which seemed to enhance its character very well.?

The winner of the under-12 category was eight-year-old Alex Worthington from Lancashire, while Jan McCullough, 14, from Northern Ireland triumphed in the 12-18 section.

Judges included wildlife photographer Chris Packham.

Picture credit: Catriona Parfitt