JULY 16th


page closed for donations

£5,700 raised


Since 2010 common countryside words have started to disappear from children's dictionaries. This magically illustrated "book of spells" aims to help children conjure back these words lost, such as adder, starling and dandelion; to bring them back to the landscape and their knowledge. It is to inspire and imbue with them a sense of awe and bewilderment of the wonderful wildlife that surrounds us.


As Robert Macfarlane begins the book:


Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children. They disappeared so quietly that at first almost no one noticed - fading away like water on stone. The words were those children used to name the natural world around them: acorn, adder, bluebell, bramble, conker - gone!


Fern, heather, kingfisher, otter, raven, willow, wren ... all of them gone! The words were becoming lost: no longer vivid in children's voices, no longer alive in their voices.


Thank you for your support in helping this spellbinding book reach the children of Nottinghamshire, for helping them conjure back these lost words of our beautiful countryside.


Click here to see more about the Lost Words on publisher, Penguin's website.

We have  raised over £5,700 in order to provide a copy of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris for every Primary, Junior & Special School in Nottinghamshire.


Deliveries to schools will start in September.






We are still fundraising in order to provide the Lost Words for every secondary school in Lincolnshire.


We raised £5,700 by kind donations from 115 supporters via Crowdfunder.co.uk between 3pm on Monday 18th June and 3pm Monday 16th July 2018

We are delighted that Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and Notts County Football in the Community are our key supporters in this campaign.


JUNE 18th


page opened for donations


We aimed to raise £5,000

to complete to our aim

JULY 10th

£7,000 'stretch' target



Delivery of books to schools






November 2018


In his essay, 'The Gifts of Reading', Robert Macfarlane wrote: "The outcome of a gift is uncertain at the time of giving, but the fact that it has been given charges it with great potential to act upon the recipient for the good." This is and was quintessentially true of pledges to The Lost Words for Nottinghamshire campaign - and indeed all like Crowdfunders for the book.


As half-term has now been and gone, an update is long overdue. Following your generosity as supporters of #LostWordsforNotts, there came to our aid an unexpected and transformative 'benefit in kind': the offer from Inspire to deliver the books crowdfunded to all the schools of city and county free of charge. They are found here: https://www.inspireculture.org.uk/services-schools/els/.

Enormous thanks are due to Peter Gaw, Val Sawyer, Hazel Sisson, Andy Martin and their team. Of the 440 schools to deliver to, but 90 now remain.


This in turn has enabled us to ensure that each book is accompanied by a printed copy of the 32-page John Muir Trust Explorers Guide wonderfully produced by Eva John: https://www.johnmuirtrust.org/latest/news/1350-new-explorers-guide-to-the-lost-words-now-available - it is in itself a fantastic educational resource.


There has already been one other major (oak-like) benefit in kind. Move over 'Les Quarante Immortels', the guardians of French culture! Here in Nottinghamshire we have 40 fantastic Literacy Volunteers. They are so badly needed in a region that features low on the literacy tables: http://www.literacyvolunteers.org.uk/ .  Thanks to your generosity we have been able to provide each Volunteer with a copy: into the schools they go, on multiple weekly visits, sharing the book, guiding its reading and the potential for wild learning from it. Three cheers for Dawn Claypole and her team of volunteers.


As funds are now not required to be spent in any great degree on distribution costs - and of course until the book reaches the right hands, the campaign promise is undelivered - we have been able to extend its reach. And so (as was always hoped for), the book will have reached (or soon reach) organisations that best look after the interests of children marginalised, placed outside the mainstream or in need of the broader horizons and solaces it will provide, including MyBag, Faith in Families, Rainbows Hospice and the wards of our hospitals that look after children.


Lastly, in terms of ordering logistics and fulfilling on our 'rewards for pledges' a quiet but steadying hand on the tiller has been provided by Ross Bradshaw at Five Leaves Bookshop, to whom renewed thanks: https://fiveleavesbookshop.co.uk/.


What remaining copies exist will be distributed to special assemblies at schools, at events run by, or in co-ordination with, Notts Wildlife Trust and  - to the extent that any surplus allows - placed in the libraries of city and county.


 Thank you so much for your support.



Patrick Limb

Barrister & Organiser of Lost Words for Nottinghamshire.

Email: hello@lostwordsfornotts.co.uk






Matt Turpin

Project Manager of Nottingham

UNESCO City of Literature

Email: matt.turpin@nottmcityoflit.org


Lost Words for Nottinghamshire Schools