Storytelling for The Conservation Volunteers

P1070337It was a wild and stormy day in late March. Snow was blowing in across the North Sea and the early daffodils were shivering in the biting wind. At the Singleton Environment Centre families stomped up in boots and winter coats to take part in ┬áthe Spring at Singleton weekend…

And despite the bitter weather, we had a great time! I did a storytelling session where groups were invited to listen to me perform ‘Where stories come from’ and then to create their own story with the help of a basketful of wooden objects I brought in for the event.

By the end of the day my voice was giving out after leading half a dozen sessions to groups of between 5 and fifteen who all enthusiastically listened and then contributed ideas. We wrote out some of the stories and put them up on the wall to inspire future sessions. Here is one of them.

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Touch Wood for The Conservation Volunteers

touch wood edited by Vicky WilsonCopies of Touch Wood: children’s poetry from the Kent Heritage Trees Project have arrived!

The project began with a series of workshops to support The Conservations Volunteers’ project to map and preserve Kent’s old, large or interesting trees at Reculver CE Primary School, Whitstable Junior School and Great Chart Primary school. The idea was to stimulate the children to write poems that explored the myths associated with trees and woodland and raise awareness of their importance. This was combined with an open call for submissions that went out to Kent primary schools and visitors to The Conservation Volunteers’ Singleton Environment Centre. It was then a question of selecting which poems to include in the book.

The poems and illustrations produced by the children showed a high level of craft, imagination and observation, as well as a commitment to preserving our woodlands. No matter what kind of exercises or source material I use with children I find myself constantly surprised by the sophistication and invention of the work they produce.

You can buy Touch Wood from Amazon.