Northumberland Lost Words festival aims to ensure language of nature lives on

Bluebell by Jackie Morris.Bluebell by Jackie Morris.
Bluebell by Jackie Morris.
A festival dedicated to a book that has become a global movement celebrating language and nature is to open in Northumberland later this month.

The Lost Words Festival will be hosted by Northumberland National Park Authority at The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre from January 25 to April 22.

The book is a collaborative project between renowned best-selling author Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris.

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Jackie said: “It’s great to see The Lost Words exhibition continuing its tour after two years. It has been in towns, cities, a country house, botanical gardens and National Parks.

Magpie by Jackie Morris.Magpie by Jackie Morris.
Magpie by Jackie Morris.

“It’s wonderful to see it hosted in Northumberland National Park, in this wild place, surrounded by so many of the things the book celebrates.”

It was devised after a 2016 survey found eight-year-olds were more able to identify species of Pokémon than species of common UK wildlife.

The festival will consist of a dedicated exhibition, organised by Compton Verney, at The Sill, along with an education programme and entertaining events

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They begin with the Big Garden Bird Watch on Sunday, January 26 and also include craft workshops, poetry, walking trails, lost dialect workshops, and immersive performances by the Told In Gold theatre show.


The exhibition explores a series of 20 spell-binding poems by Macfarlane, accompanied by 50 of Morris’ beautiful watercolours.

Aiming to revive and uncover the near-lost magic and strangeness of nature that surrounds us, Lost Words conjures back words all but lost from the vocabulary of children – such as acorn, bramble, lark, weasel, willow and wren.

Rosie Thomas, director of business development at Northumberland National Park Authority, said: “It has been a dream of Northumberland National Park to host The Lost Words since the opening of The Sill.

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“We are committed to connecting people with landscape and cultural heritage and this book and exhibition do this in such a magical way.

“We’re proud to have the opportunity to create a festival around this shared ethos and develop such an exciting programme of events to share with the public.”

For more information on events and to book tickets, please visit

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