It is becoming a bit of a habit now that our little group will go on a summer outing, in the hope of inspiring some new pieces of writing. This year’s trip certainly didn’t disappoint as, notepads and pens in hand, we headed into the woods …
On 28th August 2018, Lockerbie Writers ventured … well, just down the road really, to Eskrigg Nature Reserve. This tranquil woodland area, managed by Lockerbie Wildlife Trust, is home to all manner of birds, insects, squirrels and more. Off we headed in search of the wildlife, led by the Trust’s Jim Rae.
What a wonderful morning we had, enjoying stories about lonely apple trees, hardy rare plants, and the annual nut race (which we all agreed should be the title of Paula’s next children’s story). There were fantastical mushroom and plant names galore – my personal favourite was the amethyst deceiver mushroom, although I can also see the adder’s tongue fern popping up in a story somewhere.
The day was overcast but it stayed dry for us, and the sun popped out long enough for a couple of butterflies to appear. Even the squirrels were obliging and entertained some of us by sauntering across the path right next to our feet – one even sat next to Frank to have his breakfast!
I, for one, had not appreciated the amount of hard work and community spirit which has gone into the reserve over the last thirty years. It really is a tribute to the community – and to Jim Rae’s dedication to the place – to hear him list all of the companies and voluntary groups who have donated their time and/or money over the years. It is such a great resource for learning but equally for a quiet morning’s walk or time for contemplation.
Led by our informative and enthusiastic guide, we spent a full two hours exploring the nature reserve, before returning to the picnic area for lunch and a chat about what we had seen. Most of us felt far too relaxed, surrounded by nature and birdsong, to think about writing much by this point – but we left full of ideas and inspiration, ready to produce our own stories and poems at home. I’m looking forward to our next meeting where we’ll all report back on what we have written.
Thank you to Jim Rae and Lockerbie Wildlife Trust for a fantastic and inspirational morning, and thank you to our own Paula for suggesting the venue and organising it. We look forward to sharing our resulting writing with Lockerbie Wildlife Trust and with you in the near future.