There's just two weeks to for poetry competition to celebrate meadows

Kirsty Nutt

Tuesday 17 May 2016

There is just two weeks left for folk to submit their entries to a Doric Poetry Competition to celebrate meadows, their wildlife and what they mean to people through verse.

The competition, which is being run by RSPB Scotland as part of the Save our Magnificent Meadows project, supported thanks to National Lottery players, will except entries by email or post until midnight on Monday 30 May.

Roddy Hamilton is RSPB Scotland's Meadows Outreach Officer. He said: "Time's runnin oot for submissions tae the Meadows Doric Poetry competition! Get yer entry in noo, using meadows and their craiturs tae set ye aff in verse".

There will be three age-group categories in the competition - 11 and under, 12 to 18, and 19 and over - and each entrant can submit a maximum of three previously unpublished poems.

The entries will be judged anonymously and first, second and third-place prizes awarded for each age-group category. The winners and first two runners up in each category will also be invited to perform their poems at the Meadows Celebration at Loch of Strathbeg on 2 July. The event, which is on National Meadows Day, will be full of family activities, music, poetry and storytelling all aimed at celebrating meadows and the links with north east culture.

The esteemed judging panel for the competition is made up of Jean McKinnon, Les Wheeler and Robbie Shepherd. Jean is a founder member of the Buchan Heritage Society and former editor of Heirskip magazine; Les Wheeler is a research associate with Aberdeen University's Elphinstone Institute and joint editor of the Elphinstone Kist. And Robbie Shepherd is a Scottish broadcaster and author, known for presenting shows on BBC Radio Scotland and for writing a column in Doric for the Press and Journal.

Robbie said: "I'm afa pleased to be associated with RSPB Scotland's Meadows Doric Poetry competition and the Save Our Magnificent Meadows project. It's appropriate to celebrate Doric in a way that links directly to our cultural history and unique landscape. I am lookin forrit to seein a large number of high quality poems."

The wildflower meadows that this competition celebrates have suffered catastrophic declines, with more than 97% being lost across the UK since World War Two. This has had knock on effects for the bees, butterflies and other wildlife that rely on them too.

Save Our Magnificent Meadows is the UK's largest partnership project transforming the fortunes of vanishing wildflower meadows, grasslands and wildlife. Led by Plantlife, the partnership is made up of 11 organisations, including RSPB Scotland and is primarily funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. At Loch of Strathbeg, RSPB Scotland are using specialist cutting equipment and grazing by konik ponies to restore 22 ha of fen meadow along with running lots of fun family activities throughout the spring and summer to celebrate meadows.

For more information about the competition visit rspb.org.uk/lochofstrathbeg or facebook.com/RSPBNorthEastScotland,email magnificentmeadows@rspb.org.uk or call 01346 532017.

Photographs:

A selection of images to support this story are available from RSPB Images. They must be credited to the photographer and rspb-images.com and used only in relation to this story.

You can access the images by Clicking here and entering the user name and password when prompted.

User Name: Meadows

Password: Competition

Editor's notes:

1. Nearly 7.5 million acres of wildflower meadow have been lost and they are still being destroyed.

Save our Magnificent Meadows is:

· Targeting 74,000 acres of wildflower meadows and grasslands in nine strategic landscapes across the UK, including at RSPB Loch of Strathbeg.

· Giving people all over the UK the chance to visit, enjoy and learn about our wildflower meadows and grasslands.

· Raising awareness of the desperate plight of our wildflower meadows and grasslands and equipping communities with the knowledge and skills to reverse this devastating trend.

The Save Our Magnificent Meadows project partnership consists of 11 Organisations:

Plantlife

Cotswolds Conservation Board

Medway Valley Countryside Partnership

National Trust

Northumberland Wildlife Trust

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in Scotland and Wiltshire

Scottish Wildlife Trust

Somerset Wildlife Trust

Ulster Wildlife Trust

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust

2. RSPB Scotland is part of the RSPB, the UK's largest nature conservation charity, inspiring everyone to give nature a home. Together with our partners, we protect threatened birds and wildlife so our towns, coast and countryside will teem with life once again. We play a leading role in BirdLife International, a worldwide partnership of nature conservation organisations.

3. Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk @heritagelottery

Tagged with: Topic: Habitat conservation Topic: Reserves