Week 8: Words from the Wild


Hello Everyone,

Welcome back to ‘Words from the Wild’ – I can’t believe we have reached our eighth session of this new group and am so glad we have been able to continue online during the current lock down.

This week William chose pages 72 – 78 of Melissa Harrison’s book The Stubborn Light of Things for anyone reading the book at home. During the chosen extract Melissa writes of a piece of land that has been regenerated for wildlife following the closure of industry. This reminded us very much of our beautiful St Nicks site, which was at one time a landfill site and before that clay pits. You can read more about that here if you are interested.

So, to start us off our first task is about regeneration and the following tasks are taking inspiration from the Melissa’s observations of wildlife and changing seasons :

Task 1: (5 mins) Regeneration: Last week we thought about transforming a manicured racecourse into a meadow. This week start by thinking about a place you would like to see regenerated for green space. Draw two columns on your page. On the left side write a list of what the space looks like now. On the right side of the page write contrasting sentences describing what it might look like if regenerated in the future. It can be anywhere that you like!

Task 2: Red Kites. (5 mins) Melissa writes about sightings of Red Kite birds of prey in her descriptions and informs us that they were once extinct in the UK (in 1871 for England and 1879 in Scotland) until they were an effort was made to protect them in 1903 when only a few remaining pairs were found in Wales (see here for more info). Red Kites are now successfully breeding across the UK and are wonderful to watch gliding on the air currents. For five minutes free write about your experiences of the Red Kite bird, this might have been a sighting, or if you prefer you can imagine you are a Red Kite flying across the city. What do you see? Imagine how it feels to have wings stretched out on the breeze and razor sharp vision hunting for prey!

Task 3: (10 mins) A farewell to Autumn. As the days draw closer we are getting the last of the harvest from the allotment. The final few blackberries are clinging on to brittle stems. Teasles have now lost their colours. Imagine that Autumn and Winter are people. Write about Winter coming home to tidy up after Autumn. What does Winter do to clean up. How does Winter take care of the next few months!?

Task 4: (5 mins) My Oasis. Think of a green place where you feel peaceful. Write for 5 minutes telling me about your oasis wherever that is.

Hope you all manage to enjoy some nature today!
Best wishes,


Published by Emma

Hi my name is Emma! I am a writer and artist. I work for the NHS at Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) and I am also an MA graduate in Creative writing and am currently studying for a PhD in Humanities. I have been leading a creative writing class at the beautiful St Nicks in York (www.stnicks.org.uk) for the last five years. When I am not at work I'm on my allotment or at Base Camp (my home) planning new adventures.

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