You may have noticed that there isn’t as many insects around this summer?

Scientists have been warning about the shocking decline of many species of insects. Over the past decade around 50% of butterflies, beetles, bees, and wasps have vanished.

There are likely to be many different causes: climate change, the destruction of habitat, pollution, and the overuse of fertilisers and pesticides. Insect populations in cities are suffering as much – if not more – as those in the countryside.

Birmingham Friends of the Earth is campaigning for Birmingham City Council to stop the use of fungicides and pesticides in its public parks and spaces through the Save Our Soil campaign. Many local authorities in the United Kingdom and around the world have already recognised the unnecessary risk that chemicals pose to insects and pollinators.

We think that Britain’s second largest city should provide a safe place for people and wildlife to thrive.

We believe that educating our children about the need to look after the environment to help secure their future, is vitally important.

And we want children to know the joy of experiencing the natural world around them. Despite the loses, there’s still so much to see.

Earlier in the year, we published a short story for young children called, ‘What Has Happened to Mother Bee.’ The children and adults that read the story seemed to like it, so we’ve decided to write another one.

This time, we’d like a local child to help design the cover and thought it would be great to run a competition to find all those budding artists in Birmingham!

Please encourage your children to capture the image of a butterfly, bee, or any other insect that they see whilst enjoying the outdoors during their school holidays. They can take a photograph or draw or paint what they’ve seen when they’re back indoors.

There are two separate age groups: 4 to 7 years and 8 to 11 years. There are prizes for the winning entry in each of the two age groups, and the overall winner will then be selected to have their image incorporated into the design of our next book cover.

Prize package for 4-7 year old’s winning entry.

Prize package for 8-11 year old’s winning entry.

To save on postage, we ask that you send all entries as a JPG image attached to an email. Don’t worry if that sounds complicated. Your mobile phone is likely to take a photograph with JPG. If your child wants to paint or draw a picture rather than enter a photograph, then simply photograph their finished artwork, and attach it to an email.

Send their entries to between the 31st July and 31st August 2023.

Terms and Conditions

• The competition is open to all children within the ages of 4 to 11 years living at an address with a Birmingham postcode whilst the competition is running.
• The competition will run from the 31st July to 31st August 2023.
• No entries will be accepted after midnight, 31st August 2023.
• Entry is free.
• Only one entry per child.
• All entries must be sent as a JPG image, attached to an email, and sent to us at by the child’s parent or guardian.
• Please remember to include the child’s name and age in the body of your email.
• Prizes as listed on the website. No cash alternative is available.
• The winning entries will be chosen by a representative of Birmingham Friends of the Earth. Their decision will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into.
• The winners will be notified via the email address that was used for entry, no later than the 30th September 2023.
• By entering the competition, you agree that your child’s name, age, and artwork can be used freely by Birmingham Friends of the Earth for the purpose of its campaigns.

Our thanks to Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the kind donation of two Bee Saver Kits as prizes.