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The winners of Briar Chemicals’ Young Poet of the Year 2017 poetry competition have been announced, in what is the competition’s 13th year.

With a theme of planet Earth, youngsters from the region’s schools were asked to take inspiration from their surroundings, wildlife and the environment.

Ruby Emms-Wright, from Saxlingham Primary School, was crowned the winner in the eight to nine-year-old category, while Ryan Price, from Denver Primary School, won in the 10 to 11-year-old category.

Briar Chemicals Poetry Competition
Ruby Emms-Wright, nine, left, at Saxlingham Primary School, winner of the eight to nine age group category in the Young Poet of the Year, with runner up Hettie Thompson, nine, and head teacher, Lesley Payne. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ben Garrod, television presenter and evolutionary biologist who was this year’s final stage judge for competition said:

Overall, there were so many great entries, it was hard to pick just one or two each time. Every single one of the poems in this competition had one thing in common in that they either celebrated the beauty of the natural world or reinforced the need for us to protect the world around us.

“In many of these poems, I felt a sense of sadness from the author. These pieces show that not only are our young people aware of the tipping point our planet faces but that they care also and want to see a positive change.”

The competition is part of Briar’s Science in Schools programme, which aims to make science learning fun as well as informative.

Briar Chemicals Poetry Competition
The EDP and Briar Chemicals Poetry Competition was won by Denver student Ryan Price. Picture: Ian Burt

Sarah Harman, marketing and PR coordinator at Briar Chemicals and first-round judge, said:

Briar supports STEM education and our science themed poetry competition encourages children to use their imagination and sparks an interest in science.

“Our aim is to educate young people about important topics and make science learning fun.”

The winner of each age category received £100 and each of their schools received £500, courtesy of Briar Chemicals.

Briar also donated £500 to support Mr Garrod’s chosen charity, the Marine Conservation Society.

First stage judges were Lauren Cope 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 Harman of Briar Chemicals.