A guide for teachers


An Explorer's Guide to The Lost Words by Eva John for the John Muir Trust

The Lost Words

Help Suffolk Wildlife Trust gift a copy of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris to every primary school in Suffolk

The Lost Words was created to celebrate and revive once-common “nature” words – from acorn and wren, to conker and dandelion – dropped from the Oxford Junior Dictionary (and replaced by words like broadband and blog). The book has been described as a "cultural phenomenon" by The Guardian, for the speed with which it and its ideas have taken root in classrooms and homes across Britain since its publication in October.

Over the coming weeks and months Suffolk Wildlife Trust aims to hand-deliver a personalised edition of The Lost Words to every primary school in the county. Each Suffolk school book will include an exclusive, previously unpublished barn owl poem by Robert Macfarlane and a beautiful new barn owl illustration by Jackie Morris. Every pupil will also receive a special book mark, illustrated with a barn owl feather painted by Jackie Morris.

Help us sow the seeds of wildness in classrooms across the county by making a donation to help us buy the books. Each donation of £10 will provide a primary school with their copy of the book and everyone who makes a donation will be entered into a draw to win the original feather artwork.








The Lost Words message is closely aligned with Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s mission to inspire interest in the natural world and encourage children to make nature part of their everyday life. The book is a beautiful over-sized hardback and features acrostic spell-poems designed to be read aloud, along with breath-taking illustrations that capture the irreplaceable magic of language and nature for all ages.

Our goal is to inspire a love of nature far beyond the book's pages. As part of this we are developing a programme of activities (including the chance for children to write their own spell-poems) and pointing teachers to "An 'Explorer's Guide to The Lost Words", written by Eva John and produced by the John Muir Trust. 

Please use the form below to make a donation or phone us on 01473 890089. Cheques made out to Suffolk Wildife Trust can be sent to us at Brooke House, Ashbocking, Ipswich, IP6 9JY. 

If we should receive more money than we need for the books we will dedicate it to wild learning activities for children and families across Suffolk.



From the authors

Jackie Morris, who has also previously provided illustrations for the Trust’s Christmas cards, described the books as seeds that could help “rewild the child.”

She added: “To see our book finding its way so fast into schools, bringing that wild focus into the classroom, growing across the artificial limitations of the school curriculum to cover so many subjects is an utter delight. So fast, it echoes the torrenting song of the skylark.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to Suffolk Wildlife Trust for joining with us to help plant these seeds of books. And what a wonderful way to celebrate the work of the wildlife trust in its support of the hush-winged barn owl than to see the release of this barn owl spell into the wild, the first written by Rob since the completion of The Lost Words.”

Robert Macfarlane, said: "The response to The Lost Words and its spells and creatures has been overwhelming and wondrous, from adaptations into theatre, dance and music, through to the way it has taken root in classrooms and children's lives all around the country.

“The power of the reaction speaks in part, I think, of the mix of anxiety and hope that colours our relationship with the natural world in this country at this moment. Jackie and I are thrilled at Suffolk Wildlife Trust’s project to get a copy into every primary school in Suffolk, and in this way to bring the language and knowledge of nearby nature back into the stories and vocabularies of the county's children.

“I've written a special Barn Owl 'spell', for one of the county's most iconic birds, to mark both the books and the project."