In collaboration with Flo’s Place in the Park, and made possible by the generosity of the Midcounties Co-operative and Community Action Groups, we are producing a series of workshops for kids inspired by The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris.
Macfarlane and Morris created this spellbinding collection in response to the 2007 edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary which introduced new words such as “broadband” and “blog” while words relating to the natural world (acorn, wren, otter, willow, to name a few) were lost. The dictionary, reflecting the frequency of words in the daily language of children, threw into undeniable relief the idea that children are losing touch with nature. Enter ‘The Lost Words’. This is a magical collection of acrostic poems by Macfarlane, gorgeously illustrated by Morris, which re-conjures these words, brings them back to our hearts and minds, and helps children to discover the natural world around them.
During five workshops run throughout 2020, we aim to conjure this spirit in our very own Florence Park! The Lost Words sessions run at Flo’s Place in the Park for 7-14 year olds, the community hub in the heart of the park. After a chat about the kind of creatures, creepy-crawlies, and all manner of living things we might be seeing (and a bit of binocular training!), we head out in the park to explore. Local nature experts will lead the walks, teaching participants how to look and listen and notice the living world around us. We then return to Flo’s to create our own Lost Words-inspired poetry with the help of poet Phoebe Nicholson.
Sessions are free and open to any kids who are 7-14 years old. Sessions are booked separately, and kids can go to one, a few, or all of the workshops, as they prefer. Each session will have a different theme from nature, and feature a local nature expert to guide the walk and chat about their area of expertise:
- 22 February: birds (with Nick Boyd)
- 21 March: plants and fungi (with Sarah Watkinson)
- 25 April: mammals (with Hugh Warwick and Charles Foster)
- 23 May: insects (with Tonya Lander)
All sessions run from 9.30am til 12.30 noon at Flo’s Place in the Park. On 6 June there will be a 3-hour drop-in workshop where we will bring together all of the poetry and art we’ve created over the four previous sessions, plus create some more! We will then put it all together to create a zine which will be available for free to all contributors.
Sessions are free but registration is required. To book for any of the sessions, or to find out more information, please email email@example.com
The Lost Words Crowdfunder 2019
In spring 2019, we also provided The Lost Words sessions as part of the successful The Lost Words crowdfunding campaign to get a copy of the book in every infant, primary, and special school in Oxfordshire. As part of the crowdfunder, there was a prize draw for all participating schools to win a presentation of the book, and a workshop with us. On 3 May 2019, we went to spend the morning with Whitchurch Primary School to deliver this workshop!