A Lost Words Trail opens in Thorncombe Wood near Dorchester

Contributed by Dorset County Council


A Lost Words Trail opens in Thorncombe Wood

A new Trail on the theme of The Lost Words has opened in Thorncombe Wood, a Local Nature Reserve three miles east of Dorchester.  Thanks to funding from Stepping into Nature community pot, you can now pick up a leaflet from the Visitor Centre and follow the seasonal Trail on the theme of The Lost Words from February half term until April.  Inspired by The Lost Words book by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris, the Trail helps you discover words and nature in Thorncombe Wood and provides participants of all generations with activities to connect them to Dorset’s landscape, wildlife and culture.

The Lost Words Trail lies adjacent to the cottage in which Thomas Hardy, one of England’s most renowned authors and poets was born, making it an ideal location to connect words with nature and nature with words. The Trail, its leaflet and way-markers, celebrate some of the words illustrated in The Lost Words book alongside other words taken out of the Oxford Junior Dictionary in 2007.  It also highlights a few old Dorset dialect words to stimulate memories for the older generations and inspire interest in younger generations.

The Lost Words Trail leaflet explains how you can win a copy of The Lost Words book of your own and explains the management of certain plants found in and around reserve. The Trail itself is good for all the family as it is under a mile long. It follows paths that can be used by off road mobility scooters (which can be hired from Hardy’s Birthplace Visitor Centre) so those with mobility issues are able to join in the fun.

Claire Platten, a Ranger at Thorncombe Wood, said: "We hope that families of all generations, and those caring for others, will enjoy this Trail. It is a wonderful opportunity to get close to nature and to search for, find and speak about The Lost Words. We hope everyone will write, illustrate and share their own spell-poems and Lost Words. Have a go, a copy of The Lost Words will be awarded to an outstanding artist or wordsmith!"

To celebrate the opening of this Trail, Martin Maudsley - a well-known local story teller - led a magical Lost Words story walk featuring folktales, myths and legends which celebrate plants and animals found in Dorset. More walks are being planned – for more details of these please get in touch with hardysbirthplace@dorsetcc.gov.uk