Call of the wild

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

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.

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