'Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children. They disappeared so quietly that at first no one noticed - until one day they were gone. But there is an old kind of magic for finding what is missing, and for summoning what has vanished. If the right spells are spoken, the lost words might return...'
Please help us restore the language of nature to children across North and East Yorkshire.
The Lost Words, by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris began as a book (published October 2017) and grew into a movement promoting connection with the natural world.
Our project, coordinated in East Yorkshire and Hull by Paddy Hall and in North Yorkshire and York by Amy-Jane Beer. has three pillars: Words, Wildlife and Wellbeing. In fact it's hard to separate these three, so perhaps rather than pillars, we should call them branches. Like branches, they sprout form a shared trunk and each has the potential to grow and bear shoots and leaves and flowers and fruit. We want to put a copy of The Lost Words, and teaching materials to accompany it, into every primary school in North and East Yorkshire, York and Hull, and copies in each of the four Yorkshire Wildlife Trust gateway sites at Potteric Carr, Stirley Farm, Spurn and Flamborough Head, where they can be used by visitors and school groups. If we exceed our initial target, we'll move on to the wider community, issuing books to hospital children's wards and GP surgeries across the region.
We'd love to see more children benefit from the joys of reading and wildlife, which is why we'll be distributing the books you help us buy at events in bookshops and nature reserves around the region - with postal options for schools unable to send a representative to collect their copy. We're grateful for the support of Waterstones, especially the wonderful team in the Hull branch.
£3 will cover postage and packing for one book. £10 will buy a book for a school, thanks to a generous discount from the publisher. £65 will see five books winging their way. Everyone donating five pounds or more is in with a chance of willing stunning original illustration, by Jackie Morris (see left) - painted with vintage ink and river water. We will invite donors able to make contributions of £200 or more to attend on of our distribution events in the autumn as VIP guests, with the opportunity to hand over a book in person to a recipient school. For £500 you can buy 50 books, plus a special copy of the book signed by Robert Macfalane and Jackie Morris, for you to keep.
You can read press coverage of our campaign here (Yorkshire Post), here (the i paper) and here (Gazette & Herald), and for an example of the wonderful expressions of creativity the book inspires , see the video below, with huge thanks to the Friends of Rowntree Park in York.