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Briar Chemicals Young Poet of the Year poetry competition, now in its 12th year, attracted more than 1,200 entries from schools across the region.

This year the young poets joined television nature presenter and writer Jess French, the final stage judge for the poetry competition, at the “Exploring Nature” themed awards event held in the BBC Voices studio at The Forum in Norwich.

Jess said: “We need to keep up our intimate personal relationship with nature, or we’ll lose it.”

Nature is a subject that’s really close to my heart, and I think it’s absolutely vital that we remain attached and connected to nature.

Edie Tod, of Angel Road Junior School was the winner of the 8-9 category, and Eve Bensley, of Bunwell Primary School won the 10-11 category.

Edie, aged nine, is now keen to become a nature writer:

I want to be a nature poet when I’m older. I used my imagination for this piece and it only took me an evening to write.

Eve, aged 11, said: “I saw a butterfly during break time at school and wrote about it. My favourite subject at school science so my headteacher was so pleased when she found out I had won.”

Briar Chemicals Poetry Competition with Jess French
The winners, Eve Bensley, left, 11, and Edie Tod, 9, in the Young Poets of the Year competition. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


Edie and Eve each won £100 and their schools received £500, courtesy of Briar Chemicals. A copy of Jess’ book, “Chimp Rescue: A True Story” and certificates were also presented to each of the winners and runners-up.

Tim Green, Site Manager of Briar Chemicals said “This year’s poetry competition received entries from 37 schools around the region and the standard was very high”.

“Our aim is to encourage youngsters to enjoy writing creatively and this year theme certainly seems to have done the trick!”

First stage judges were Simon Proctor from the Eastern Daily Press, Professor Anne Osbourn of the John Innes Centre and founder of the SAW Trust (Science, Art and Writing), and Sarah Piercy of Briar Chemicals.

Briar Chemicals also donated £500 to help support Miss French’s chosen charity, the Sumatran Orangutan Society.