Budding writers are being urged to get out and let Dorset’s countryside inspire their craft.
The new Green Words scheme is a walking and writing wellbeing project taking place in the Bridport area this spring.
Coordinated by Bridport Arts Centre, the project will be led by keen walker Dr Kevan Manwaring, senior lecturer in creative writing at Arts University Bournemouth.
Bridport-based Dr Manwaring said: “As a writer I am continually inspired by the great outdoors. I am a great believer in the power of nature to heal, inspire, and encourage resilience. “My hope is that these walks and workshops will reach out to local people who do not normally have access to the countryside or to creative writing workshops.”
Dr Manwaring will lead “short, inspiring walks” in the Bridport area to encourage those who would not normally go for a nature walk “learn to appreciate the biodiversity on their doorstep and at the same time improve their health and wellbeing”.
The walks will cover a variety of terrain, appealing to walkers and hikers of all ability levels.
Free, guided creative writing workshops will be held in Bridport’s Literary and Scientific Institute at 51 East Street following each walk.
An arts centre spokesperson said: “Over 10 weeks, works produced as part of the ‘green words’ scheme will be nurtured and honed, leading to an anthology co-designed and co-produced by the group, including poetry, prose, photography, and illustrations.
“The anthology will be launched at a showcase at Bridport Arts Centre.”
The project, initiated by Dr Manwaring, is funded by the Dorset Community Fund and will be delivered by Bridport Arts Centre, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023.
The centre has said it is keen to promote environmental initiatives and raise awareness as part of its core goals.
Dr Manwaring will lead the walks and the corresponding writing workshops on Fridays from February 10. The walks will run from 10am to noon and the workshops from 1pm to 3pm. Both are open to all, although specific community groups will be encouraged to participate, with a focus on access to green spaces and lifelong learning for all.
Spaces are free but are limited to 15 per session so booking is essential. Contact Dr Manwaring at firstname.lastname@example.org
All walks begin at 10am at Bucky Doo Square unless otherwise specified.
February 10: Coneygar Hill
February 17: Asker Meadow
February 24: Allington Hill
March 3: West Bay
March 10: Eype Down (meet at Kabin Café rest area)
March 17: Colmer’s Hill (meet at Colmer’s Hill car park)
March 24: Bridehead (meet at village green)
March 31: Eggardon Hill (meet at lay-by at Crossroads)
April 21: Kingcombe Nature Reserve (meet outside café)
April 28: Langdon Hill/Golden Cap (meet at Langdon Wood car park)
Workshops will be held in a meeting room at 51 East Street, Bridport from 1pm to 3pm on the day of the walks.