Budding photographers are being challenged to capture the beauty of Slough's wildlife – as the campaign to create new wetlands in the town gathers momentum.

The campaign is funded by Thames Water with the Environment Agency and centres around the Salt Hill stream. Volunteers from the town, community groups and schools are all enthusiastically working with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust to create a clean, healthy watercourse.

The 'Slough Goes Wild' photographic competition is inviting people aged from eight upwards to take pictures of wildlife and plants on or around the existing waterways. It was launched at the Curve yesterday.

Andy Graham is Head of Community Working at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. He explained why so much effort was being put into reviving the Salt Hill Stream.

He said: "We want to make the treasure of urban wetlands available to people again. We want children to enjoy the experience again of chasing tadpoles and finding frogs - getting children out and about again.

"We want Salt Hill stream to be a nice place to be, rather than just somewhere to walk past."

Much of the stream is hidden or inaccessible because it is underground. The plan is to uncover as much as possible so people can enjoy it.

A water rail bird has already been spotted on the site. These are quite rare, secretive birds - and the siting has offered a fascinating preview of the possibilities for the future.

Visitors to the photographic competition launch were able to explore wetlands round the world using 360 VR gear, before taking part in a discussion session with Cllr Rob Anderson, cabinet member for environment and leisure on Slough Borough Council, broadcaster David Lindo, Slough's community engagement officer for the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust Shelley Rowley and Tom Stacey from the Slough Youth Parliament - all of whom are closely involved with the Salt Hill plan.

Winners of the photographic competition stand to win a one day workshop with environmental photojournalist Ben Cherry and to get closer than they have ever been to some amazing animals.

For more information visit www.slough.gov.uk/sloughgoes wild.

Entries must be in by April 20 and the winner will be announced on May 12.