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Regular news and insight from our many poets, writers, educators and facilitators

01 July 2023

Posted by Alice Flynn

The Nature Session

Over the summer, the Stories From Our Streets project joined the Parks Foundation’s Parks

in Mind community wellbeing and conservation group to experience some of Boscombe’s

familiar green spaces in new ways, as well as exploring different approaches to writing

about outdoor places.

Under the August sun, we first met at Fisherman’s Walk for our Tales from the Trails

session. This green space with its pine trees, bandstand and pond is popular with young and

old alike. 

As part of our creative process we explored the nature around us through the senses, as well as taking note who else we saw making the most of the area. Through simply noticing what we observed and sensed, we had a rich range of words and images to draw upon for our writing. 

We added another layer, too: memory. We wrote notes about what Fisherman’s Walk meant to us over the years – and what memories we had of it. Lastly, we drew from our writing throughout the session to create our own final pieces to share.

As we sat around the wall of the pond while its fountain bubbled away, everyone who

wanted to share their poetry, memories and reflections about Fisherman’s walk. We all saw the green space with new eyes. 

We left uplifted after gathering together to write while connecting with nature. “We began this group as strangers and now we’re all connected,” observed one participant, “I felt anxious to begin with and now I feel relaxed,” shared another. For some people it was the first time they had tried writing, let alone in a group!

Our second Nature Session in Boscombe began on the nature reserve of the over cliff. Once

again, we attuned our senses to the nature around us, our body as nature, too. We felt the effects of perspective, looking far away to the horizon and up close at the insects and plants

at our feet. 

We strolled down to the shoreline, jotting down what we noticed along the way: spiders

webs strung with dew, leaves beginning to turn their colours towards autumn. As we strolled down the zig zag, for many, memories arose: summer after summer by the sea. At the shoreline, people wrote their notes. 

We then came together to share what we’d written, each piece a gift to the group. The session, just like the place, meant different things to everyone. For some, writing alongside others was healing and confidence-building after a hard time, for others, it was a chance to hone their storytelling skills or to celebrate their favourite place. 

Once again, we ended the session smiling, grateful for having seen a familiar place through the eyes of another, to hear other people’s stories from our streets.


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