The storyline was a familiar one, about reading the signs of nature, but told in a novel and engaging way.
Accompanied by Dr Watson, Holmes studies the rocks beneath Parys Mountain, deducing their age by the presence of marine fossils before going on to identify the resident species of bat from the wings of moths on the floor, and so on...
Andrew Forgrave, Rural Affairs Editor at the Daily Post and one of the judges said:
"For sheer originality, this was the stand-out essay. The concept of the nature detective is nothing new, but Richard Birch succeeds admirably in the deceit of writing his article in the style of Conan Doyle. A novel way of bringing nature to a wider audience."
First prize is £500 cash sponsored by WWF Cymru.
Second prize is a £500 place on the nature writing course, sponsored and delivered by Tŷ Newydd, the National Writers Centre, near Cricieth.
Natur Cymru is a quarterly magazine about wildlife and the contemporary environmental agenda of Wales.
All you need to do is write 1,000 words in Welsh or English on any aspect of the wildlife and nature of Wales that inspires you.
The competition is open to anyone who subscribes to Natur Cymru apart from staff of Natur Cymru, WWF or Tŷ Newydd. The closing date is 31 March, 2011.
Full details of the competition, including past winning articles, are at www.nature2010.org.uk