It seemed very appropriate in our 50th year that we should celebrate the voices, passion and vision of the next generation of environmentalists and champions of the natural world.
Our 'My True Nature' competition received over 600 entries from 7-16 year-olds around the UK, which were in turn seen and discussed online by thousands and thousands of young people.
On 15 November, at our special 50th anniversary event at the East Wintergarden in London's Docklands, six My True Nature awards were handed out on our behalf by actress and WWF ambassador Miranda Richardson - one award for each creative category, plus an overall winner.
You can find out the finalists and see the winning entries below.
The finalists in the Art & sculpture category were: Ameenah Aksar, Shuhaib Ali, Lucy Beckley, Christian Cartwright, Jade Davanzo, Beth Kent, Alexandra Simpson, Callum Umana Stuart.
The winner was nine-year-old Christian Cartwright for 'Kingfisher'.
Christian told us: I spent my summer this year and last year in Cornwall taking detailed pictures of nature. I wanted to use the colours, shapes and textures of all the objects in my photos to create something from nature that was a living creature. I chose to create a kingfisher because it has lots of brightly coloured feathers (especially greens, blues and oranges). I think it is a very powerful bird but also elegant. I tried to capture how it might sit on a log, waiting for a fish, with the sun on its feathers."
Seven-year-old Lucy Beckley's painting 'Leopard' was also highly commended by the judges.
Winning song was Natasha Wilson's 'The Beauty of Nature'.
Natasha (15) told us: "I have always found the beauty of nature amazing and wonderful. Our modern cities don't let wildlife have a chance to breathe or flourish and I wanted to show everyone what they are missing! This song is about the love of nature. No matter how much we cut it back, destroy, or mistreat it, its beauty always grows back, welcoming and forgiving us. I found it hard to fit everything I wanted to say into a two-minute song and had to miss out many of my ideas - but even so, I think the message is put across."
Here are the lyrics:
When I get overwhelmed by the city-scape,
I take a few friends and I escape,
Away from the concrete and man-made sounds,
'Til we reach a place far from the madding crowd.
It's the Beauty of Nature
Where sunlight fights to bathe us in gold,
And branches clap rhythms to our soul.
Autumn leaves rain down flurries of kisses,
To show us the true love of nature and its riches.
It's the Beauty of Nature.
An enveloping scent of the forest's perfume,
is carried on the wind, round flowers in bloom.
The magical gems on a spider's web
sparkle after rain, hanging on its threads.
It's the Beauty Of Nature
And it loves us
It's the Beauty Of Nature
And it forgives us
It's the Beauty Of Nature
It loves Everyone
Its the Beauty Of Nature
It loves me
Finalists were: Helen Futty, Maya Gibson, Megan Griffiths and Alicia Hayden.
Maya Gibson (11) was highly commended for 'Our little place', but the winner was Alicia Hayden (11) for her poem 'Leopard'.
Alicia told us: "I was inspired to write this poem because my auntie adopted an Amur leopard for me through the WWF and I found them so mysterious and beautiful, I decided to write a poem about them. I am sad that there are so few Amur leopards left in the world."
Here's Alicia's winning poem:
First, I took amber and fire
And I had his eyes.
Then I took sunset and dawn
And I had his coat.
I added charcoal and ink
And I had his spots.
Next I took needles and pins
And I had his claws.
Then I took strength and the stars
And I had his teeth.
I added leather and roses
And I had his tongue.
Next I took wire and sensitivity
And I had his whiskers.
Then I took rain and peaches
And I had his nose.
I added rope and balance
And I had his tail.
Next I took wisdom and dignity
And I had his head.
I took pride from the Lion,
Speed from the Cheetah,
Strength from the Ox...
And then I had him.
I had the Leopard.
Winners were nine-year-olds Alice Hemmings and Hannah Evans for their dance 'The Beach'.
Alice told us: "We chose the seaside because we both like it there and it's relaxing to build sandcastles and hear the sea crashing against the rocks! We like to swim in the glittering, sparkling, wavy sea and we love to lick the refreshing ice creams. It's good being at the seaside because you can hear the seagulls squeaking and the sea air makes you feel alive. We love the beautiful seaside!!"
Finalists were: Christian Cartwright, Celine Clark, Celia Morgan, Alicia Hayden, James Malseed, Laura Bohlander, Ross Thomson, Emma Walker.
The winner was Celia Morgan (13) for 'Beauty'.
Celia told us: "I believe that you don't need an expensive camera to take amazing and beautiful photos. All you need is some imagination, and the ability to see that everything around you has its own beauty. Another person might have taken this picture better than me. Or they might have walked past this old rusty fence and not noticed how beautiful it was. That's the reason I take pictures. To make everyone else see that every single thing, no matter how ordinary or plain it is, can be beautiful, you just need to look at it with the right eyes."
Christian Cartwright (9) was also highly commended for 'Butterfly on purple flowers'.
The overall winner of the My True Nature online competition was nine-year-old Christian Cartwright. He submitted two entries in two different categories and we were overwhelmed by the standard of both.
Christian also very neatly summed up the whole idea behind the 'My True Nature' concept, saying:
"The challenge for all of us is to find art and beauty in the natural things that we walk past each day. The beauty could be the colour, the texture or the pattern of the object. Viewed in this way, 'True Nature' is also an inspiration for creating something else and a challenge to look at nature in a different way."
Huge thanks to everyone who entered the competition, and everyone who devoted time to making the competition such a great success - and to our fantastic ambassador Miranda Richardson for presenting the awards.
Our thanks also to Eleanore & The Lost for composing and performing the 'My True Nature' theme song.