Just been commissioned to write about Elmley Marshes in Kent for Wandering Words, a project run by Ideas Test, part of Arts Council England’s, Creative People and Places programme.
Wandering Words is a literary project that aims to make available to the public a website featuring pieces of writing created in response to the landscape, architecture, communities and heritage of Swale and Medway.
I am delighted to be part of the project and also delighted to write about Elmley Marshes. Elmley is somewhere I am bound up with. My friend Gordon was the last RSPB warden on the reserve, he died, age 50, at Kingshill Farmhouse. I can never visit Elmley without thinking of Gordon or Steve Gordon, the estate manager for the Elmley Conservation Trust, who died late last year, also, way too young. But Elmley is not a place of sadness for me, it is a place of great beauty and richness, partly due to the efforts of these two men. It is no hardship at all to have an excuse to visit it more often.
My writing will form part of the Wandering Words website, an online literary map, where people can upload text, audio and video. The aim is to encourage people to write, share and explore writing of all kinds.
Wandering Words will be launched in mid May and is a collaboration with the Rochester Literature Festival which takes place in October.
In the meantime I will be setting my alarm clock for a dawn visit to the reserve as soon as possible to catch the hares performing their spring courtship dance.