Call of the wild
TWENTY endangered words of Nature, from acorn to wren, are rewritten—or ‘spell-written’—in a beautiful new book. The Lost Words, by award-winning writer Robert Macfarlane, features exquisite paintings by long-time illustrator Jackie Morris, who aims to ‘delight the mind and the eye and send children to sleep dreaming of wild things’.
In the wake of a 2016 survey that found three-quarters of British children spend less time outdoors than prisoners do, and with the knowledge that 53% of UK wildlife species are in decline and only 52% of the public know about it, this book, which is for all ages, seeks to reawaken the enchantment of Nature in the form of words such as bluebell, bramble, kingfisher and willow.
The paintings and their accompanying ‘spell-poems’ will form the basis of an exhibition at Compton Verney, Warwickshire, from October 21 to December 17, before touring the country next year. A proportion of the sales of The Lost Words (Hamish Hamilton, £20) will go to Action For Conservation, a charity that inspires the next generation of conservationists.