KENDAL-based papermaker James Cropper and local artist Amy Williams partnered with St Oswald's CE Primary School to host a nature workshop.

Pupils embraced the outdoors with poetry and creative line-art for a book which will be showcased next month.

The project tasked 15 children from years five and six to celebrate the great outdoors and the natural world around them with the creation of drawings and poems which are being compiled into a children's nature and conservation book.

Taking inspiration from the transformative nature book, The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane and Jackie Morris, the children chose to research a species of animal, bird or plant that can be found in the British countryside that they knew nothing about. 

They then wrote poetry and created artwork in a Zen Doodle style - a form of line drawing incorporating intricate areas of patterned designs - with amazing results.

As well as a celebration of the creatures and plants which share our lives, the creative outcomes, which includes sketches of birds, small mammals, trees and fungi in all their characterful glory, nods to a new category in the well-known James Cropper Wainwright Prize – a literary prize which is awarded annually to the best work of nature and conservation writing.

Julie Tomlinson, Communications Manager, Sustainability at James Cropper, said: "We understand how crucial the role of young people is in the fight against climate change and wanted to bring that to the fore locally.

"We read the shortlist of books on nature, conservation and climate change specifically written for children, who are very much on the front line of the climate change debate, at last year’s Wainwright Prize and were impressed with the impact these books can have on shaping the next generation.

The Westmorland Gazette: Children from St Oswald's worked on the bookChildren from St Oswald's worked on the book (Image: James Cropper)

"Their awareness of the world around them and how much care it needs is so important and we hope this project has encouraged our young community to enjoy what nature has to offer."

The poems and art will be assembled into a book that will be presented to the school on World Book Day (March 2) by Jordan Scott, the Project Lead at James Cropper, and showcased thereafter in the refurbished school library, which James Cropper helped to fund last year as part of its company community support programme.

Amy, who led the workshops, said: "It was wonderful to see the interest the children had in local wildlife, and how they used their imaginations to fuel their creativity and appreciate the beauty of our world.

"I can’t wait to see the finished book."

Kim Allder, a teacher at St Oswald’s School says: "We have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to study poems about nature during this project.

"It was lovely working with Amy and introducing the children to a different style of artwork.

"We are all very excited to see the work published in our own special book."