Adventures in Nature
Lessons from Nature: Watching Birds
29th January 2021

“Robin” by pauljeffery59

‘A crow in a crowd is a rook and a rook on its own is a crow’

After many conversations in our house about why the birds weren’t frequenting the bird feeders in our garden, this past week has allowed us to get back on ‘bird track’.  There has been a lot to notice.  Tuesday saw the first visitor to the feeder – a robin.  It was strange to see its cautious movements around the garden before it dared to make a dash for one rushed mouthful of seeds; hardly even stilling its wings before flying off again to the safety of the hedge.


The Lost Words November: Ivy
26th November 2020

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.

Dear Ivy,

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…)

The Lost Words October: Acorn
26th October 2020

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…)

The Lost Words September: Conker
30th September 2020

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…)

The Lost Words August: Bramble
30th August 2020

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…)