Meadows to be hailed in prose for contest

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The RSPB has officially launched its Doric Poetry Competition to celebrate meadows, their wildlife and what they mean to people through verse.

The competition is being run bythe charity as part of the Save our Magnificent Meadows project, supported thanks to National Lottery players.

Roddy Hamilton is RSPB Scotland’s Meadows Outreach Officer. He said: “The Meadows Doric Poetry Competition is one of the many exciting events happening this year to celebrate the final year of our participation in Save our Magnificent Meadows.

“I would like to encourage Doric speakers of all ages to set pen to paper and help us celebrate meadows and their amazing wildlife.”

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the competition – 11 and under, 12 to 18, and 19 and over – and each entrant can submit a maximum of three previously unpublished poems between now and midnight on May 30.

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 July 2.

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 is a research associate with Aberdeen University’s Elphinstone Institute and joint editor of the Elphinstone Kist. And Robbie 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: “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.”

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