The Lost Words

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

The Lost Words illustration by Jackie Morris

The response to The Lost Words and its spells and creatures has been overwhelming and wondrous.
Robert Macfarlane

Thanks to your support, Suffolk Wildlife Trust is gifting 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.

In a matter of weeks, Trust members and supporters raised enough money to to gift a copy of The Lost Words to every primary school in the county. Staff and volunteers are now hand-delivering a personalised edition that includes an exclusive, previously unpublished barn owl poem by Robert Macfarlane and a beautiful new barn owl illustration by Jackie Morris.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. If you are a teacher, or parent of a child in primary school please get in touch to to arrange a suitable time for your book to be delivered.

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. 

Suffolk Wildlife Trust


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


View and download


Book a school visit or creative writing workshop:

Explore The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris with our experienced learning team in a curriculum-linked half day or day visit to one of our learning reserves or book a creative writing workshop based on The Lost Words led by Matt Gaw, author of The Pull of the River: A Journey into the Wild and Watery Heart of Britain, at your school.

  • £2.75 per child {half day} or £4 per child {day}; minimum charge £60 (half day} or £80 {day} for visits to our learning reserves.
  • Creative writing workshops £120 (half day} or £200 (day}.

For more information, please contact Sara Holman on 01473 890089 

Book a school visit or creative writing workshop

From the authors

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Jackie Morris by Jay Armstrong

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.”

Suffolk Wildlife Trust

Robert MacFarlane by Rosamund MacFarlane

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."