An Aldenham School student has snapped up a prestigious award in a national photography contest.

Sam Aron won the Young Garden Photographer of the Year award with his entry of an elusive long tailed tit.

The 14-year-old, who lives in Watford, will see his winning entry tour exhibitions in the UK in events such as workshops and lectures on garden photography.

The competition, organised in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, is open to professional and amateur photographers worldwide.

Sam first became interested in ornithology after watching a neighbour’s bird slide show.

He built a hide in his garden to allow him to get close to the birds, taking the winning shot in February 2012, using his new top of the range camera he bought with his Barmitzvah money.

He said: "I was thrilled to get a good shot of this bird as long tailed tits are not easy to photograph due to their annoying habit of always moving.

"It is wonderful to win the top prize and I look forward to spending the money, probably on some photography equipment."

Sam has his sights set on becoming an ornithologist or biologist one day, but he said photography will always be a serious hobby for him.