YOUNG poets throughout Cumbria are being invited to show their skills to a descendant of William Wordsworth.

Christopher Wordsworth Andrew, the great great great great grandson of England’s most famous poet, has launched this year’s Young Poets competition. And he and other members of the Wordsworth family will judge the entries, and come to hand out prizes to the winners later in the year.

The competition is organised each year at Rydal Mount near Ambleside where Wordsworth lived for most of his life. It is open to all young people of school age in the county and this years theme is "New Beginnings".

Christopher said: “We thought this would be appropriate as Rydal Mount has new curators this year who will be hosting the contest for the first time.

“It’s also a theme which fits with the spring season in which the young people will be writing. But it doesn’t have to be a nature poem. The poets can choose any subject they wish that fits with the theme. It might be starting at a new school or moving to a new house, or even moving to a new home in Cumbria.”

The winning poem will be framed and displayed prominently in the drawing room at the popular tourist attraction. The winner will receive a £50 cash prize, a personal trophy, and his or her name will be added to the roll of honour on the plaque at Rydal Mount. There are book prizes for the poets judged as highly commended in the primary and secondary school categories.

Each entrant also receives a certificate signed by the family of William Wordsworth.

The closing date for entries is Friday March 22, and the award ceremony will be held at Rydal Mount on Thursday May 9 when the winner will be announced.