Artwork by Imogen Christian
DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year 2024

Terms and Conditions


1. David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) is the sole owner of the Wildlife Artist of the Year (WAY) competition.  

2. WAY is open worldwide, to amateur and professional artists. 

3. By entering WAY 2024, you are agreeing, if shortlisted, to show your artwork in an in-person exhibition in July 2024 (as per clause 31 to 42 below), with artists being responsible for the cost of delivery to the exhibition, as well as the cost of collection of unsold works after the Exhibition closes. 

4. The competition is open to individual entrants aged 15 years or over by the closing date (11 March 2024). Artists aged between 15 – 19 years old by the closing date are entered into the Youth Exclusive category. 

5. Entry to the Youth Exclusive category for young people is £15 per entry. For all other categories, entries are £25 per first two entries, and £15 per entry thereafter. 

6. There is no maximum number of entries but the online entry system will only accept a maximum of ten entries per submission.  Thereafter, to continue to qualify for the discounted rate, subsequent entries can be made offline with the help of the DSWF team. 

7. Entries must feature work completed within the last five years by the entrants themselves and must be their own original work. Work completed before 11 March 2019 cannot be entered. The artist must be the sole author and owner of the copyright of all artwork entered. 

8. Artists using exact reference from another professional artist or photographer will need permission from the copyright owner. Source material and proof of permission to use must be made available if requested by the judges. DSWF accepts no liability in the publication of unlawfully reproduced art. 

9. Copyright of the artworks will remain with the artist. 

10. DSWF only accept images of artworks at the competition entry stage, and cannot accept original artwork for entry submissions. DSWF cannot return photographs or CDs sent by post.   

11. All artwork entered into the competition must be unsold and available for sale by DSWF during the exhibition if shortlisted. If a work is shortlisted and is then unavailable for exhibition and sale it will have to be removed from the competition and no refund will be offered.  

12. Artists must be prepared and able to ship artwork to the UK for exhibition if selected as a finalist. Further information is in the SALES, ARTWORK DELIVERY AND LIABILITY section below. 

13. By entering WAY you agree to grant DSWF a non-exclusive license to reproduce the artwork for any purpose in connection with the competition and the charity including publicity, marketing, fundraising and exhibitions, with full credit given to the artist when used. We will never enter into any commercial agreements relating to your artwork without your explicit consent.


  • Overall winner: £5,000 cash prize and the title ‘Wildlife Artist of the Year 2024’ as well as a £5,000 DSWF wildlife conservation voucher to donate, in the winner’s name, to a DSWF supported conservation initiative or species of the winner’s choice. 
  • Overall runner-up: £1,000 cash prize and a £1,000 voucher to donate, in the winner’s name, to a DSWF supported conservation initiative or species of the winner’s choice.  
  • Category winners: £500 cash prize per category 
  • Youth Exclusive category winner:  £500 cash prize plus vouchers for the support of a DSWF supported conservation initiative and for an education initiative of the winner’s choice.   
  • The Elizabeth Hosking Watercolour prize: £500 cash prize  
  • The Michelle Lee Howk First Time Entrants prize: £500 cash prize 

Other prizes: Other prizes include non-cash awards. Further prizes may be announced during the competition.  

14. No cash alternative can be offered in lieu of any non-cash prize.

15. Prizewinners are notified at the awards ceremony and results are embargoed until then. All results will be posted on the DSWF website and on DSWF’s social media after the awards ceremony. 

16. The competition is not open to DSWF employees or their families.


Entries must correspond to one of the eight categories described below. Any pieces featuring domesticated animals (e.g. pets, farm animals) as the main feature subject do not fall under the following categories, and therefore will not be considered by the judges. Please note that we cannot offer refunds for these entries.

i. Abstract World: DSWF is inviting those who choose to express themselves non-figuratively to showcase their talents for wildlife.  This category is about interpretation, freedom and expression. Since the early 1900s, abstract art has provided a central stream of modern art and is an essential pillar of the art world.

With the natural world crumbling around us, the creative process is an essential tool to capture the beauty and fragility of global biodiversity. The dynamism and intrigue of abstract creation opens a door for pure and raw displays of feeling and freedom. 

ii. Animal Behaviour: Animals, like humans, have complex personalities and behaviours, and show a wide range of emotion, intellect and sentience. Whether showing incredible skill in seeking food, demonstrating protective instincts for their young, engaging in a unique mating performance or simply relaxing in the sun, every creature will display individuality and character.

The Animal Behaviour category welcomes artworks that exhibit a true understanding of animal behaviour, capturing moments that might be humorous, tragic, aggressive, or simply a part of a daily routine. 

iii. Earth’s Wild Beauty: Our planet is an inspiring tapestry of contrasting habitats and landscapes, providing homes to a host of different animals, plants, trees and insects. Humans share this planet with a huge variety of species and everyday moments of beauty occur as the land and wildlife that lives within it adapts to survive the extremes of nature.

The Earth’s Wild Beauty category is a celebration of Earth’s wild landscapes, seascapes and all that live in them. 

iv. Environmental Artivism: This category allows artists to use their platform to feel empowered and to share their thoughts on the issues facing wildlife and the wild in this Anthropocene.

This category invites honest discussion and truth to shed light, unpack and determine some of the more pressing environmental topics of our time. It can also be a celebration of how art can be used as a positive tool for effective and emotive communication. We invite the thinkers, the feelers and the activists to share their personal insights on what is happening to our natural world and our affect upon it, both good and bad.   

v. Facing Extinction: Today the world is facing its next mass extinction with hundreds of species across the planet vanishing from the face of the earth before our very eyes. Whether driven by habitat destruction, wildlife crime, human-wildlife conflict, pollution, climate change or disease, the growing challenges facing many of these incredible creatures could mean that if we don’t end extinction, our last chance to see them will be on canvas or immortalised in sculpture.

The Facing Extinction category invites artists to celebrate these vulnerable species, capturing their behaviour and importance in striking imagery. They may be gone tomorrow if we do not act today. 

vi. Into the Blue: Covering 75% of our planet and essential to all life on earth, fresh water and salt water are home to some of the most unusual, diverse, mysterious and incredible creatures. Due to pollution, particularly plastic, our oceans are struggling to support life.

The Into the Blue category features artworks that illustrate the wonderful world of water – be it ocean, seashore, wetland, river or stream – and the incredible animals and landscapes within it.

vii. Wings: The wonderful world of winged creatures is diverse, complex and fascinating. Birds, bees, butterflies and bats all experience the planet from a different perspective, soaring above our oceans, crossing vast desert plains and making their homes in unusual locations.

The Wings category showcases the extraordinary variety of winged wildlife on our planet, including birds and insects, in-flight or at rest. 

viii. Youth Exclusive (for artists aged 15 – 19 years): This category is for young artists whose work aligns with and reflects the voice of a new generation. Capped at 19 years old, this is a group who will include new emerging art professionals as well as strong amateur talent. All entries by artists in this age group will be entered into this category and not the categories above.

Young artists are invited to create something true to the essence of their vision, specifically reflecting the natural world, where the power of art can be shown from either a human impact and awareness perspective, or the simple desire to illustrate something beautiful and raw. We want young people to open their hearts and minds to what it is to be a courageous new youth art ambassador for wildlife.


17. An independent panel of judges, to include artists, art professionals, photographers and conservationists, will be chosen by DSWF. The process will take place in three stages. 

18. The judges will accept any medium, excluding photography and digital drawing/painting but including original prints. For the purpose of this competition, an original print is a print either in black and white or in colour, drawn from one or several plates, conceived and executed entirely by hand by the same artist, regardless of the technique employed, with the exclusion of any and all mechanical, digital or photomechanical processes. Every stage must have been completed by hand by the artist. DSWF reserves the right to query artists on exact techniques used. 

19. The judges’ decision is final. DSWF judges and organisers are unable to enter into any correspondence with individual artists except in the course of processing entries and administering the exhibition. 

20. A separate judging panel will be formed for the Youth Exclusive category with the winner announced alongside other winners. 

21. Only shortlisted finalists will proceed to the exhibition. Shortlisted finalists will be notified after the second round of judging and will be required to complete an Artist Agreement which specifies terms of sale and delivery requirements. 

22. The winners of the competition will be announced at the DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year Awards Ceremony on 1st July 2024. This will be an in-person and online event. All results will then be posted on the DSWF website and on DSWF’s social media channels. 


23. Entries may be submitted from midday 12:00pm GMT on 8 January 2024 until the closing date, 11:59pm GMT on 11 March 2024. No entries will be considered after the closing date. 

24. Entries will be accepted as high res (300dpi) jpegs entered online from 8 January 2024 or by post using the Postal Entry Form. 

25. Artists must not send original artwork when entering the competition. 

26. For online entry, please ensure that your image is a still image (and not moving), the file size is a minimum of 2200 pixels and no larger than 6MB. For 3D artworks and sculptures only please include images of up to three different angles.  Please label your files carefully.  

27. For postal entries you must complete and submit the Postal Entry Form and email images of artwork as specified in the form. 

28. No other forms of entry will be accepted. 

29. No allowance will be made for poor digital images, bad quality photographs or low-resolution videos. If there appears to be an error or issue with any submissions we will contact you. 

30. Entries will not be accepted until full payment is made. Payment options are explained at the point of entry.  


For artworks selected for exhibition only: 

31. The DSWF Wildlife Artist of the Year 2024 Exhibition will be held at the Mall Galleries, London SW1 between Monday 1 July (private awards ceremony) to Saturday 6 July 2024. 

32. There will also be an online exhibition, where the finalist artwork can be viewed and purchased remotely. The online exhibition will open on Wednesday 26 June 2024 and close on Saturday 6 July 2024. 

33. The artist will set the sale price, but DSWF reserve the right to discuss price changes with artists.  

34. Shortlisted artists will be asked for a detailed description of the artwork and artist biography for final judging and point-of-sale promotion. DSWF reserves the right to edit these details. 

35. Proceeds of the sales agreed during the period of the online exhibition will be split 50%/50% between DSWF and the artist for the duration of the exhibition. Thereafter, any sales made as a result of the exhibition or continued promotion of the piece by DSWF after the exhibition period (as agreed with artists) will be split 70% artist and 30% DSWF. 

36. Sale proceeds resulting from commissions taken at the exhibition are to be split 70% artist and 30% DSWF.  

37. DSWF will manage all sales and payments for artworks and the delivery process to buyers, with the costs of delivery of sold pieces charged to buyers. 

38. Delivery to the Mall Galleries prior to the exhibition and collection of unsold pieces at the end of the exhibition, including appropriate insurance cover and import/export documentation, are the responsibility of the artist. 

39. DSWF strongly recommend the use of their logistics partner, Picture Post, to assist with the receipt of artwork for exhibition and the return of unsold pieces. Picture Post will advise on import and export administration and appropriate packaging. All details regarding the services provided by Picture Post will be provided to shortlisted artists. 

40. Artwork must be received exhibition ready, i.e. appropriately framed with a hanging system (excluding plinths which are provided).    

41. Artwork that does not sell at the exhibition must be collected from the Mall Galleries within the time specified in the Artist Agreement. Picture Post will be available to assist with this process. Alternatively, the artist can discuss the donation of their artwork in support of DSWF’s conservation work. 

42. DSWF cannot accept responsibility or liability for artwork exhibited at or sold at the exhibition or any damage to it in any delivery process. 

For further enquiries please see the FAQs section on our website or contact the DSWF team on 01483 272323 or email 

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