A PHOTO of an orphaned squirrel being fed milk taken by a talented 10-year-old has won a top prize.

North Yorkshire schoolboy Hugo Napier has been recognised by the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards for a photo of a baby squirrel he took in his back garden.

Hugo, who goes to Terrington Hall School in Ryedale, took a picture of the orphan squirrel being fed milk through a syringe and submitted it to the annual national competition for under 18s, which this year attracted more than 4,000 entries.

The photograph was declared runner-up in the Under 12 Mobile Phone and Devices category at a prize-giving ceremony at the Tower of London, presided over by TV presenter and wildlife expert Chris Packham.

Hugo said: “It was amazing meeting Chris Packham and brilliant to see all the amazing photographs in the competition. It was really special that it was held at the Tower of London.

“I took the photograph after I was outside playing in my back garden when I saw three tiny baby squirrels all huddled together in the base of a beech tree. We got some milk from our local vet and syringe fed them until they were old enough. It was such an amazing experience to raise these orphaned squirrels and I will always have this photo to remind me of what a beautiful adventure I had with them.”

Chris Packham, who was also among the Awards judges, said: “We have seen a fantastic array of animals featured across this year’s competition. Every year I am impressed by the level and skill in the photographs that are submitted. This year’s entries were magnificent – top work everyone.

"This is RSPCA perfection. It's compassion, it's about looking after life and making sure that it can prosper as healthily and for as long as possible. Super picture, Hugo!"

Terrington Hall head Simon Kibler said: “We are very proud of Hugo’s talents. He’s a very modest young man and we only knew about his success when he asked for the day off school to go to the prize-giving ceremony. His photograph and the story behind it are also fine examples of the Terrington Hall School value of Kindness.”