A Barnstaple beauty spot threatened with development has inspired a poetry competition.

Friends of Mannings Pit invited wordsmiths of all ages to write odes inspired by the spot in Pilton.

The spot had been earmarked for 41 new houses, prompting vigorous campaigning from the Friends group. The planning application was withdrawn in March last year.

It has now been listed as an asset of community value, giving local groups the opportunity to buy the land on the open market should it be put up for sale.

A total of 156 poems were submitted, coming in from as far away as Australia, India, China and the Arctic.

London based poet Julia Bird judged the entries, choosing Mark Totterdell’s Form as the adult winner, and Together, by Barnstaple’s Ryan Vowles as the U18 winner.

Julia Bird said: “I was really impressed by the standard of poems which were submitted to the Save Mannings Pit poetry competition – the theme obviously struck a chord with people who wanted to talk about their relationships with beloved natural beauty spots both in Devon and further afield.”