Adventures in Nature
Ivy is one of the ‘Lost Words’; everyday nature words removed from a children’s dictionary, that inspired Robert Macfarlane’s book of poems. In our final blog for this series, each member of staff has written a short piece exploring what ivy means to us, with themes of resilience, sustenance and renewal recurring throughout our writing. ‘Clingy, luscious and misunderstood’, we hope you can see this enduring evergreen in a new light too.
In the past, people called you Bindwood and Lovestone. You still find a way to stick to everything, not letting go easily. You aren’t afraid to keep climbing high, the top branches are within easy reach. (more…)
I’ve been telling my children bedtime stories of adventures in magical woods since before they could understand the words. We are lucky enough to live under the shadow of Otley Chevin and often go exploring amongst its enchanting trees. At this time of the year they like nothing better than stuffing their pockets with the most precious of all treasures, the tiny acorn… (more…)
Conkers to me always symbolise new beginnings. There is a huge horse chestnut tree in the grounds of my children’s school, and every year as the new term starts in September, so begins the daily hunt for any fallen conkers, and the challenge of breaking them open to see how big they are! When the Get Out More team agreed in September last year that our theme of the year would be a tribute to the wonderful Lost Words book, never could we have imagined what lay ahead of us, and how much more important nature would become over the coming months. Suddenly it’s autumn and we are at conker time again. Someone seems to have put the world in fast forward! (more…)
This month’s Lost Word is ‘Bramble’. For me, it conjures images of hands covered in dark purple stains; Tupperware full of juicy blackberries; family walks to find piles of spiky fortresses, tumbling over walls lining familiar country paths. Some years hot and hazy, a tribute to the long, warm days of summer. Some years losing heat well before they should, meaning jackets were needed to go hunting for the round, purple, plump treasures.
“Bramble is on the march again. Rolling and arching along the hedges, into parks on the city edges”. Robert Macfarlane once again perfectly capturing their essence, bullies of abandoned spaces, no care as to where they grow or how they look, intent on ever-growing and protecting as many juicy blackberries as they possibly can. (more…)
The purple moors are the backdrop to high summer. I have always lived near moorland and when the dark heather blooms brightly it signals to me those brief weeks when the summer holidays are in full swing and the countryside is in playful mode. It reminds me of picnics in the Pennines, days out at Dales agricultural shows and bilberry picking on the North York Moors with my grandparents, the inviting sea twinkling in the distance. (more…)