A young woman from St Albans is in the running to be named Miss Hertfordshire 2013.

Sarah Fleckney, of Woodlea in Markyate, has been named a finalist in the county’s heat of the Miss England contest.

The 22-year-old, who works in Chelford Fabrics in Harpenden, said: “I’m really excited. It is something I have always wanted to do.

“I’ve seen other people doing this and thought I would like to give it a go.

“I applied in the summer and I totally forgot I had done it. In October I got an email to say I was in the semi-finals.

Ms Fleckney beat off competition from the 50 semi-finalists to be put through to the final round with 19 other contestants.

She said: “I really wasn’t expecting it. It was a big surprise.

“It is just one of those things you enter and think you’ll never get through.”

For the eco section of the competition Ms Fleckney has to make a dress out of recycled materials to model on the catwalk.

She has already started planning a creation that will impress the judges.

She said: “I’m quite artistic. I want to stand out a little bit.”

The aspiring beauty queen will also have to organise a number of charity events to raise cash for Beauty with a Purpose, a charity that supports disadvantaged children around the world.

She said: “I love cooking so I want to do a cake sale.

“It makes people realise that we support charities.”

On Sunday, May 5 Miss Fleckney will take to the stage again to see if she can take home the sash for Miss Hertfordshire.

During the ceremony, which will take place at Twein Bury Farm Hotel in Weywyn Garden City, she will also have to take to the catwalk in an evening gown.

She said: “I have no idea what they are looking for.

“All the girls seem really lovely.

“I’ve got my fingers crossed.”