Young poets put trust in future set world to rights

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Poet Roger McGough was among the judges who yesterday selected 10 poems from almost 14,000 entries in the National Trust's "Saving Places" poetry competition.

Young people under 16 were invited to write about what they would like to see saved for the benefit of people now and in the future as part of the trust's centenary celebrations.

Sally Bacon, one of the competition's organisers, said that the judges had been stunned by the quality of the entries. "We were delighted with the standard. Most of the judges, many of whom regularly judge poetry competitions, were amazed by the fact that they were written by people under the age of 16," she said.

Conserving plant or animal life was the most popular subject, attracting a quarter of all entries, closely followed by global issues and pollution.

The three joint winners in the eight and under category were Rachel Jones from Weymouth, Dorset; Edward Goodacre, of Ripon, North Yorkshire; and James Winterbourne, from Maples, Cheshire.

Winner of the 9-13 category was Katie-Ellen McCrory from Salisbury, with a poem called Fieldwalking, published below. She was followed by Melissa Dawes, from Ripon, and Robert Goss from Suffolk.

The joint winners of the 13-15 category were Keren White, of Ashford, Kent; Sophie Mills, of Putney, south London; and Ciara McKeown, of Clydebank. The Welsh winner was Llywelyn Ifans, from Blaenpennal.

Prizes of National Trust gift vouchers were awarded to the winners by the actor Tony Robinson at a ceremony yesterday at Eureka! The Museum for Children, in Halifax.

An anthology of the winning poems will be published in March next year.