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Does your child recognise words like acorn, conker and starling?

PUBLISHED: 12:56 23 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:56 23 November 2018

Chrildren from St John's Primary School, Hoveton with a copy of The Lost Words presented by Henry Layte from the Book Hive and local author Patrick Barkham.
 Picture: Nick Butcher

Chrildren from St John's Primary School, Hoveton with a copy of The Lost Words presented by Henry Layte from the Book Hive and local author Patrick Barkham. Picture: Nick Butcher

Archant © 2018

From the Brecks to the Broads, Norfolk is a county with a natural environment admired throughout the country.

A campaign is running to get a copy of nature book The Lost Words into every Norfolk primary school. Children having fun in a bluebell woodland. Picture: Annette Traverse-HealA campaign is running to get a copy of nature book The Lost Words into every Norfolk primary school. Children having fun in a bluebell woodland. Picture: Annette Traverse-Heal

And now a local nature charity is backing a campaign to share more of this natural heritage with the county’s children.

The campaign hopes to put a copy of The Lost Words, a book which celebrates “lost” nature words such as acorn and willow, into each of the county’s primary schools.

Norfolk Wildlife Trust has shown its support with a £1,000 donation to the campaign from its Children and Nature Fund, established by vice president John Snape to fund ways of connecting children with local wildlife.

But the charity is lending its voice to calls for more donations to help the campaign reach its goal – with an estimated £1,000 still needed.

A campaign is running to get a copy of nature book The Lost Words into every Norfolk primary school. A girl reading in dandelions. Picture: Emma BradshawA campaign is running to get a copy of nature book The Lost Words into every Norfolk primary school. A girl reading in dandelions. Picture: Emma Bradshaw

The Lost Words, by nature writer Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, celebrates natural words such as conker, kingfisher and starling which used to be commonly used in the English language.

Henry Layte, owner of the Book Hive in Norwich, and natural history writer Patrick Barkham began the campaign with a delivery of 20 free copies of the book to primary schools across north Norfolk and Broadland.

Alongside this, a crowdfunding appeal was set up by Andrea Tiplady which raised enough money to supply the book to 100 schools in north Norfolk and Great Yarmouth.

Mr Macfarlane said: “Everyday nature is falling fast from both our landscapes and our language.

Author Robert Macfarlane, whose book The Lost Words explores nature words which have fallen out of common use in the English language. Picture: Angus MuirAuthor Robert Macfarlane, whose book The Lost Words explores nature words which have fallen out of common use in the English language. Picture: Angus Muir

“This wonderful campaign seeks to reverse that loss and to re-wild childhoods and re-green classrooms across all the primary schools of Norfolk.”

Mr Barkham said: “Too many children are growing up unaware of their neighbourhood nature. Words such as conker, blackberry and starling are disappearing from our culture and have even been cut from children’s dictionaries. The Lost Words is a wonderful book which restores ordinary species’ place in our hearts.”

Pamela Abbott, chief executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust, added: “If children can feel in their hearts that wildlife is precious, they will love it and want to protect it.”

To donate to the campaign, go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/TheLostWordsNWT

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