Flowers for thought as Bowland inspired poems are published online

A summer meadows celebration project has resulted in the creation of poetry which has its roots in the countryside in a special part of the Bowland AONB.

A meadow of wild flowers in the Forest of Bowland and a walk near Slaidburn has provided inspiration for 12 new poems which have now been published online,

The poems can be seen on the Bowland AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural beauty) website.

They were created as the result of a special summer project to celebrate National Meadows Day which saw local writer and tutor Maureen Fenton and award winning local poet Philip Burton working to encourage poets, both existing and new, to discover and respond to the Coronation Meadows at Slaidburn, near Clitheroe.

Bell Sykes Meadow provided inspiration for the poems Photograph: Graham Cooper

Philip, whose latest work is called, Gaia Warnings, talked about the writing processes behind some of the poems in this collection.In 2019 he was the winner of four poetry prizes - the Jack Clemo, the Sandwich (Kent) Poet of the Year, the Barn Owl Trust, and the Horwich (Bolton). Maureen, gave feedback before final poems were submitted.

Participants took a walk guided by Carol Edmondson, the meadow makers project officer with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust round the meadows at Bell Sykes farm which have been designated as SSSIs (Sites of Special Scientific Interest) due to the diversity of species they support.

The group also got the chance to talk to farmer Peter Blackwell about his management methods for the land.

The meadows at Bell Sykes were chosen to be the county's Coronation Meadows because of their species diversity and good public access. Green hay harvested from Peter's meadows has been used to restore over 50 hectares of meadow, both at the farm and in other parts of Bowland.

A spokeswoman for the AONB said the writers had "experienced the sights, sounds, scents and textures of these rare and important meadows" and added: “We’re delighted to be able to share these poems now: a very creative response to this rare and valuable habitat, which we are fortunate to find in Bowland still.”

The author's whose work can be read online are Gail Barton, Gillian Beattie, Susan Bourne, Philip Burton, Maureen Fenton, Sue Marsden, Rosemary Moore, Jenny Palmer, Stef Portersmith, Alice Uren and Kathryn Whittaker.

To read the poems or see here .

* National Meadows Day is an annual celebration of wildflower meadows across the U.K. It takes place on or around the first Saturday of July each year.

* 13% of the Bowland AONB is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its extensive habitats of wet and dry heathland, particularly heather moor and blanket


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