Every year, The Wildlife Trust has a 30 Days Wild campaign, encouraging people to sign up to take part in an activity relating to nature every day during June.
As part of 30 Days Wild at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, Sussex Wildlife Trust is hosting a series of poetry workshops called Voices of Rye Harbour. These are supported by the Friends of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve and run by award-winning poet Jane Lovell.
Jane has been bird watching at Rye Harbour for years, and we find out a bit more about her.
What do you enjoy most about Rye Harbour Nature Reserve?
I grew up in East Anglia and walked a lot on the Fens, so I love the huge horizon, and the fact that the skies, land and sea converge here. I find the landscape uncluttered, a place of peace and calm, which gives you space to think. I like the sounds, especially the larks rising – they remind me of childhood.
Tell us about Voices of Rye Harbour
I’ve been developing a series of poetry workshops with Reserve Manager Dr Barry Yates, intended for those who do have not necessarily have much experience of writing, or of sharing their writing.
We’ll be thinking about the landscape and wildlife, and the aim is to increase people’s confidence as well as their skills.
One of the workshops will be run by Susan Richardson, a well-known nature poet who works in coastal areas and was recently nominated for the Ted Hughes prize.
When did you become interested in poetry and nature?
I’ve always had a passion for wildlife and, particularly, ornithology. I’ve loved writing poetry for a similar length of time, since I was about eight. I was encouraged by my aunt and uncle, both English teachers, who made me feel I was good at it. I like the pure and precise use of language, and the fact that, with poetry, you keep learning.
Tell us a few things about yourself.
I live with my husband in a small village in Kent. I have four cats, two dogs and we have a huge allotment so I spend a lot of time outdoors. I like collecting all kinds of things, fossils and found objects
What is the connection is between nature and poetry?
Nature poetry can be quite dark in terms of raising awareness of issues relating to the natural world and the environment, but it can also celebrate the beauty of it, so there’s a spectrum. The relationship between people and the natural world at Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is a somewhat complex but positive one. I’m hoping it will lead to some upbeat poetry focused on coastal environments and wildlife.
For more information about Jane’s poetry, see here.
Voices of Rye Harbour
Three workshops are taking place in June, and no previous experience is necessary.
Image Credits: Jane Lovell, Barry Yates.