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Last Updated: Monday, 31 January, 2005, 13:09 GMT
Children's poems etched in stone
Robert Adam and Mairead MacNeil, poem winners, by SPCB
Robert Adam and Mairead MacNeil with their engraved poems at the new parliament
Two children's poems inspired by Scotland's landscape and geology have been engraved into stone in the Scottish Parliament building.

The poems are the winning entries in an inter-schools competition organised by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The overall winner was a poem in English by 14-year-old Robert Adam from Cushnie, Aberdeenshire.

Mairead MacNeil, 15, from the Isle of Barra, won the prize for the Gaelic language entries.

Both poems were engraved into Caithness flagstones outside the parliament in Edinburgh by the construction firm, Watson Stonecraft.

A panel of English and Gaelic judges, including the Scottish poet Christian McEwan, read more than 1,000 entries before picking out their favourites.

SNH organised the competition along with the Rock On Organising Partnership, which aims to promote geology in Scotland.

Colin MacFayden, an SNH geologist, said it was a tough job as standards were exceptionally high.

He said: "We have had a great response from schools all over the country.

"The poems reflect the importance of geology in the landscape and the beauty of Scotland's landscape and it is very fitting that the winning entries should be engraved into stone used in the building of the new parliament.

'So special'

"Scotland has some of the most interesting geological features in the world and its rocky foundations have dictated numerous aspects of our lives such as where we live, the crops we grow and the industries which have developed here and the character of our buildings."

Graeme Hadden, of Watson Stonecraft, said the poems "summed up in a few words" what made Scotland's landscape so special.

He added: "What better place to celebrate this than on the Scottish building blocks of our own parliament?"

The unveiling event on Monday was sponsored by the Gaelic Language Board.

By Robert Adam

Look. What can you see?
I see beauty in the lochs.
I see majesty in mountains.
I see legend in rocks.
And it is ours.

By Mairead F MacNeil

Beanntan └rda
Fo che˛
Mar chaistealan glasa
A' fle˛dradh sa mhuir
(Translation - Towering mountains, Shrouded in mist, Like grey castles, floating in the sea)

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