THE winners of a new award for essays and poems about nature were announced at Kendal Mountain Festival on Saturday.

The Future Places Environmental Essay and Poetry Prize called for pieces that illustrated 'how literature can be a revelatory and imaginative force to help us see the natural world - and our place in it - differently'.

The competition, the result of a partnership that includes Lancaster University's Future Places research hub and Saraband publishers, saw Lancaster resident Nicola Carter take home first place in the essay category for a piece entitled Fragments on the Mountain Edge.

First place in the poetry category went to Jane Burn, of Consett, County Durham, for a piece entitled Love Affair with Next Door’s Birch.

Awards organiser Karen Lloyd, writer-in-residence at Lancaster University’s Future Places Centre, said: “‘The Future Places Environmental Essay and Poetry Prize considers anew the ways in which humans both help and harm their local environments.

“If we are to successfully navigate our future relationships with the world around us - a world that we know well that we have failed utterly - then literature, with its attentive, generous, far-reaching capacity for communication, can and does exist as a potent force for exploring change, and for renegotiating our relationships with nature."