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Latest podcast: Lost Words in Wreay Woods


The Countrystride podcast that I make with author and illustrator Mark Richards is now (gasp!) 22 episodes old.

But we're ageing gracefully, and the latest recording was a highlight for me.

We walked with Jamie Normington from Cumbria Wildlife Trust to talk about 'Lost Words' - words like acorn, conker, kingfisher and ivy that were threatened with removal from the Oxford Junior Dictionary in 2015.


The approach to Wreay woods.

In response to that threat the author Jackie Morris began drawing the lost words in sumptuous watercolours, eventually producing a book that was woven with 'spells' and poems by Robert MacFarlane. I first saw the book a couple of years back and thought it a thing of rare, and important, beauty.

Fast forward to a sunny autumnal morning in Wreay woods, just south of Carlisle, where we learned about the ancient woods stewarded by CWT, talked about Cumbrian vernacular – the dooker (dipper) and jammy crane (heron) – and ended up at St Mary's Church in the village of Wreay, a unique and remarkable architectural tribute to nature.

As we walked we discussed how we might reforge a close relationship with nature.

The podcast plays out with the song 'Willow' from the wonderful 'Spell Songs' album, generously licensed to us to help spread the word.



Jamie and Mark in Wreay.


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