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write the wilderness

Derby Poetry Festival are excited to introduce a brand new project called ‘Write the Wilderness’. Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund made possible thanks to National Lottery players and The National Forest Arts Grant Write the Wilderness is a series of in-person nature writing walks and online writing workshops. Participants will undertake guided walks and produce writing in response to nature, sharing their stories and lived experiences of the local area, from memories, personal histories and family stories. Walks will be led by poet and walk leader Sophie Sparham, the walks allow participants to immerse themselves in the natural world, whether it's a park in the town centre or a day out in the hills.


All walks will have details at the point of booking including, date, distance, time of the workshop and an ability recommendation. We’ll also provide a meeting point for participants and we have tried to ensure that there is a bus route or car park near the starting point of each walk. We have aimed to make the walks as accessible as possible however if there are access concerns about any particular route we have made a note on each walk and we encourage you to get in touch regarding any concerns.

Each walking event will provide details regarding length, route, requirements and accessibility.


“Walks. The body advances, while the mind flutters around it like a bird.”

- Jules Renard


We ask participants to provide themselves:

- Sensible walking gear

- Water

- Snacks

- Any medication they might require

- A notebook 

- A pen 


We try to make all our walks as accessible as possible and require participants to inform us about medical conditions before the day of the walk. Participants will be asked to provide an emergency contact at the point of booking and inform the team members if they have any medical conditions or needs.


“Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”

- Henry David Thoreau

About The National Lottery Heritage Fund

As the largest dedicated funder of the UK’s heritage, The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s vision is for heritage to be valued, cared for and sustained for everyone, now and in the future as set out in the strategic plan, Heritage 2033.

Over the next ten years, the Heritage Fund aims to invest £3.6billion raised for good causes by National Lottery players to bring about benefits for people, places and the natural environment. 

The Heritage Fund helps protect, transform and share the things from the past that people care about, from popular museums and historic places, our natural environment and fragile species, to the languages and cultural traditions that celebrate who we are.

The Heritage Fund is passionate about heritage and committed to driving innovation and collaboration to make a positive difference to people’s lives today, while leaving a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy. 

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

About The National Forest

The National Forest is one of the boldest environmentally-led regeneration initiatives in the country – transforming a post-industrial landscape by creating a forest across 200 square miles of the Midlands, linking the ancient remnant forests of Charnwood and Needwood. Since the early 90s, over 9.5 million of trees have been planted in an area that was previously one of the least wooded parts of the country. Together, with the help of communities, partners and passionate people, it is creating real change, in a real place, and demonstrating that a positive future is possible.

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