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New Forest Writer in Residence

17 June 2024

Immediate Release                                                             Issued June 2024


Countryside Education Trust, Beaulieu, appoints its first Writer in Residence


The Countryside Education Trust in partnership with ArtfulScribe and with funding from the New Forest National Park Authority, is delighted to announce the appointment of Yarrow Townsend as Writer in Residence for a twelve-month tenure.


Yarrow Townsend is an author and poet whose published work focusses primarily on environmental issues in natural landscapes. Her first novel for young people, The Map of Leaves (Chicken House, 2022) was Sunday Times’ Children’s Book of the Week in 2022 and was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award in 2023. Described by judges as ‘mesmerising’, the story centres on river pollution and the importance of weeds and has been translated into Turkish, Czech, German, Spanish and Japanese. Her second novel A Ship in the Dark (Chicken House, 2024) looks at the impact of light pollution on seabird migration. 

Matt West, Creative Director at ArtfulScribe, says: ‘Yarrow’s residency proposal really stood out from a wonderful range of responses to this opportunity, blending approaches towards both woodlands and waterside, working with the materiality of the New Forest as a unique landscape and seasonal cycles of those engaged with living and working in this special setting. We look forward to sharing Yarrow’s journey with a wider public both online and in-person over the course of the forthcoming year.

Jane Cooper, Chief Executive at The Countryside Education Trust, says: ‘The Countryside Education Trust's mission is to create connections between people and nature.  Yarrow is the Trust's first ever writer in residence in its 49 year history, and I have no doubt that her time with us will provide new and exciting ways of harnessing the creativity of the local community. "

Yarrow Townsend says, “The New Forest has long been at the heart of my creative practice. From nightjars up on the heath, to curlews down on the mud – the flora and fauna of the New Forest is rich and inspiring. The Countryside Education Trust – perfectly sandwiched between ancient woodland and coastal landscapes – will be an exceptional place to not only create new writing, but introduce others to this unique part of the country. "


The residency will commence with Summer Solstice (June 21) and see Yarrow spending time in and around the Countryside Education Trust, observing, participating and writing, and using this experience to facilitate others to do the same. This residency will engage in wider New Forest initiatives through outcomes including workshops, an exhibition and culminating in a printed publication.

The residency is funded by the New Forest National Park Authority’s Sustainable Communities Fund which is a grant scheme to strengthen the wellbeing and sustainability of communities within the national park.







For further information please contact or call Matt West on 07588 719891.



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