The four prize-winning designs in this year’s Hertsmere Borough Council Christmas card competition have been unveiled at a presentation ceremony.

About 400 children from 12 schools across the borough put colouring pen to paper to create a seasonal Christmas card for the council.

The standard of entries was so high that four rather than the usual three winners were chosen by Hertsmere Mayor Councillor Pat Strack.

All the winners attended a ceremony at the council’s civic offices in Borehamwood on Thursday, November 29, where they were presented with a pack of cards and a poster of their design, a certificate and gift vouchers.

Scooping first place was seven-year-old Riya Rajesh of Borehamwood with her Olympics and Paralympics inspired Christmas tree. The St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School pupil received a £50 gift voucher.

Riya's design will be used as the council’s corporate Christmas card.

Second place winner was seven-year-old Sully MacCormack, of Potters Bar, whose design will be used for the Mayor’s Christmas card to be sent to civic dignitaries across Hertfordshire.

The Ladbrooke JMI School pupil received a £30 gift voucher.

In joint third place were Bushey Heath Primary School pupil Ben Fullman, ten, of Radlett, and Bushey Manor Junior School pupil Ellen Harrison, aged eight, of Watford. They received £20 worth of gift vouchers each.

Councillor Strack said: "This is the seventh year we have run our Christmas card competition, and each year we seem to get more and more entries.

"I would like to thank all the mums, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents and especially the prize winners who attended the presentation ceremony on Thursday.

"All four winners should feel very proud because this was a very tough competition. Everyone put a lot of time and effort into their designs.

"In the end, it was too difficult choosing just three, which is why we have joint third place winners.

"And thank you very much to all the schools who took part. We couldn’t have done it without their help and co-operation."

Among the other schools that took part were Bournehall Primary School in Bushey, Hartsbourne Primary School in Bushey, St Margaret’s Prep School in Bushey, Lochinver House School in Potters Bar, Little Heath Primary School in Potters Bar, Saffron Green Primary School in Borehamwood, St Giles C of E Primary School in South Mimms and Cowley Hill Primary School in Borehamwood.