The Lost Words for Notts
The Lost Words book created by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris celebrates once-common “nature” words – from acorn and wren, to dandelion and starling. The magical illustrations of Jackie Morris and the inventive 'spell poems' of Robert Macfarlane conjure them back. The book recently co-won Children's Book of the Year 2018. For both authors the real prize is winning back for young (and older) a basic literacy of the living world around us.
Last year, a survey undertaken by the Wildlife Trusts found that a third of British adults couldn’t identify a barn owl. This book aims to change that statistic and to introduce wild vocabulary into the younger generation. This matters as names such as ‘wren’ or ‘kingfisher’ help us to see what’s around us allowing us to care more about our environment. This is becoming increasingly important as the reality of many species’ declines is becoming evident.
The project is to enable all primary school age children in Nottinghamshire to share in what the The Lost Words has to offer by securing every school across the county its own copy. The hope is to help all those children for whom nature is challenging to reach, and for whom the words of nature risk slipping away. Nottinghamshire was Robert's county of childhood.
Why this matters
As you will know, Nottinghamshire is a county with literacy issues, of diverse communities and of course it’s Sherwood Forest heritage - where the natural world should be given pride of place. That is why this campaign has the backing of Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Notts County 'Football in the Community’ and Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature. With £5,000 raised, all Nottinghamshire primary and special schools have an opportunity for their children to experience what this wonderful book has to offer.