Schools Competition

The annual DSWF Global Canvas Art and Poetry Competition is part of David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Art for Survival programme and was established in 2004 to encourage young people to express their concern for the environment through art and poetry.

Each year we look for imaginative group entries from children aged 16 years and under to use art, poetry, sculpture and words to create a mini-exhibition to reflect the year’s theme; in 2017 it's 'Our Precious Planet', particularly thinking about our amazing wildlife! See the fabulous 2017 event round-up in our news section.

Entry opens from September to early February, so, if you've missed this year's submission why not get your thinking caps on for 2018! The theme will be announced later in the year.



140,000 kg - blue whale on exhibit at the Natural History Museum


Loads of sandwiches!


Reaching thousands of children around the world


Exhibited at the Natural History Museum, London

Where in the world?

The annual competition is open to children from all around the world. Shortlisted entries are displayed at the Natural History Museum in London for the final judging and prize-giving. Guest speakers make this a really special day for the children and schools involved.

Natural History Museum, London

Home of some of the most fabulous collections of natural history exhibits PLUS the annual DSWF Global Canvas Art and Poetry Competition.

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The 2017 event and winners

Read more about the 2017 finalists and the fabulous event at the Natural History Museum here!

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Thousands of children enter the competition every year, collaborating to create some incredible and inspiring work! They paint and draw and sculpt and write amazing poems. You could be part of it too! Talk to your teachers or your parents or art group leader and suggest they get involved. It's a great way to discover more about the natural world and to support endangered wildlife.


Working collaboratively across a year group or the whole school creates a real sense of engagement and pride helping everyone learn more about the wonderful wildlife of our world and why it's so important to protect it. Bringing your exhibits to the Natural History Museum is the icing on the cake. We look forward to seeing your work!


Schools from around the world get involved. We've had entries from Russia, Hong Kong, Dubai and countries across Africa. They send wonderful stories about how they put their art together including in video form with poems and songs. Having these amazing international entries make this a truly global competition.


Arriving at the Natural History Museum in London with your exhibit is all part of the fun! You get to be part of a great competition and have a wonderful day out at one of the world's most incredible museums. With really interesting guest speakers and wonderful prizes, entering the DSWF annual Global Canvas Art and Poetry Competition is a great way to learn about the wild world.

How to enter the Global Canvas Art & Poetry Competition

Entry for 2017 is now closed but you can email if you would like to find out more about the competition - or if you would like to sponsor prizes!