THE new Miss Dorset has been crowned at a beauty pageant in Bournemouth.

Holly Broomfield, 22, was named the event's winner on Sunday at The Print Room, Richmond Hill, after judges chose between the finalists based on a series of rounds testing their creativity, presentation and character.

Holly, who has family living in Dorchester and is studying for a geography degree at the University of Southampton, said she was ecstatic to have won.

“I am absolutely over the moon and I can’t wait to go to Miss England," she added.

“I graduate in two weeks and now I suddenly have so many things to do.”

Holly impressed the judges by modelling a homemade dress before showing off her figure in sports kit and traditional evening wear.

Ambitious Holly, who has designs on pursuing a career in ecology, was interviewed by host Jackie Turner - herself a former Miss Dorset and Miss England.

The student spoke of her eclectic music taste and how she had skated the distance of a marathon to raise money for charity.

Jackie said she was proud of Holly and is looking forward to helping her prepare for the Miss England finals, which in turn leads to the chance to be named Miss World and a possible $100,000 prize.

“The support we have had from everyone involved has been immense,” she added.

Second place went to Kate Greenwood, 23, from Bournemouth and 22-year-old Kirsty Hallett came third.

The judging panel included current Miss England and Miss UK Kirsty Heslewood, who travelled from Hertfordshire to attend the event.

Kirsty said the competitors were closely matched and it had been tough for the judges to pick a winner.

She added: "They have all worked extremely hard for charity and making a recycled outfit requires a lot of confidence.

“I am very proud of all the contestants."

The Miss Dorset finalists helped raise funds for charities Beauty with a Purpose and Julia’s House, Dorset’s children’s hospice.