poet in the meadow

 Poet in the Meadow. High Borrowdale. 2015.

Collecting information. All the senses activated.

Sound maps, species maps, shadow watching,

And what the soles of our feet tell us.

During July, High Borrowdale Meadow is going to change – the flowers and grasses in the meadow will be flourishing and then fading, and poetry will appear in the land. Come along and immerse yourself. Pause. Open your senses. Gather memories and reflections. Find words, make words.

ladybird in grassesLeaf through wild flower books, poetry books, and information on the valley’s history and the ecology of the meadow. Or just sit and soak it all in.

My ‘residency’ in the meadow is possible thanks to Friends of the Lake District, who own and care for this stunning area of land in High Borrowdale. With their support, I’ll be learning about the meadow and its ecology and I will spend time there throughout July, getting a feel for the place. Further support has come from Nurture Lakeland. Thank you!

If you would like to get involved in writing you are more than welcome. On many days through July I will be on hand if you’d like guidance, feedback and materials.

Special events 

July 1st    Poet in the Meadow open event with Friends of the Lake District  Meet at the lay-by on the A6 at 0930 and we’ll walk in together. Bring a packed lunch, a notebook, a pen, open eyes and curiosity. Dress according to the weather, with sturdy shoes, and be prepared for rain.

  • ‘read’ the land as we walk from the road to the meadow
  • listen to poems, old, traditional, contemporary, radical
  • encounter the flowers, grasses, insects, sights and sounds of the meadow
  • explore the old buildings of High Borrowdale and learn about their history
  • write your own poetry – use hand-made paper if you wish
  • contribute to the poetry that will grow through the month, placed in the land
  • bring some of your favourite poetry to share

July 8th     Meadowsong – how would you write it? Come and see how the onsite poetry installation is growing, with my own additions and contributions from the public.

high brown fritillary butterfly

More about the meadow 

High Borrowdale Meadow is in the Borrowdale Valley north of Kendal, on a public right of way. It’s in a stunning setting in the valley bottom beside the river. Nothing to hear except birdsong and the river – and the voices and laughter of the people you are with.

The meadow here was the first upland hay meadow to be recreated in Cumbria, in 2005. Careful planning and planting and the right weather combined towards a successful meadow, typically in full colour from the end of June to mid July.

To find out more about High Borrowdale Meadow, and the history of the valley, follow this link to Friends of the Lake District.

Use OL7 map, Grid Reference is: 574025

It takes 40-60 minutes to walk into the meadow from the A6, where there is limited parking. There is no vehicular access to the meadow.

bistort and buttercup meadow flowers


Friends of the Lake District Logonurture lakeland logoThank you for making this project possible: Friends of the Lake District, an independent charity and membership organisation dedicated to protecting the landscape of the Lake District and Cumbria. And Nurture Lakeland, the Lake District’s tourism and conservation partnership.

4 thoughts on “poet in the meadow”

  1. Sounds lovely Harriet – I plan to be there! (We met at Karen Lloyd’s studio way back in February). This sounds like a fabulous project!


    • Will be lovely to see you Maggie. And yes, a fabulous ‘project’ it is. I love going into things like this that open up gradually and gently tease a response, as the landscape always does for me. Look forward to sharing it.


  2. alexcharcoalhorse said:

    Wonderful day in a wonderful place…healing and inspiring 🙂 Looking forward to outcomes 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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