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  • Writer's pictureTeresa Hardwick

The Great Unplugging. A Revolution in Nature, Creativity and the Unbridled Spirit of Childhood.

In our modern, hyper-connected society, where the glow of screens illuminates most waking moments, a revolution appears to be quietly taking root. It's a revolution sparked by the pressing need to reconnect ourselves and our children with the richness and rawness of the natural world, liberating all from the digital dopamine drip of boxsets and video games. It's time for a great unveiling, a return to the organic canvas of existence, and the reclamation of childhood from the clutches of incessant technology.

Contributing to this revolution is the Nature Story Trail, a cornerstone of the Plant Stories project, supported by the Arts Council England. This isn't just a trail; it's a journey into the heart of nature where imaginations can be set free, and creativity blooms in harmony with the rhythm of the earth.

By using creative writing, we are in a unique position to wield the power of words, to weave narratives that inspire, provoke, and engage. Practising writing helps us to understand the transformative power of stories, the way they can shape perceptions, ignite imaginations, and open doorways to new worlds. It's this understanding that informs the Nature Story Trail, an immersive experience designed to coax out the inherent storyteller within every child.

In our technocentric world, it's easy to forget that we are, by nature, creatures of the earth. We are born of it, sustained by it, and eventually, we return to it. Helping our children to understand this and take part in it is a great gift we can all give. They can delight at the feeling of the soil in their hands, the wind in their hair, the sun on their skin. These experiences in nature can help children and young people appreciate the profound beauty in a world that is infinitely larger, more diverse, and more magical than the confines of their screens.

In the Plant Stories project, we're not just telling children to go outside and play. We're inviting them on an adventure, a quest where they become the heroes of their own stories. Starting from the beautiful Edibles permaculture farm, we embark on a nature trail along the Slaithwaite canal, a journey that engages all senses and stokes the fires of creativity.

As we wander, we collect objects - each a fragment of the larger tale of our earth. These objects, housed in a unique wooden 'story box', become the catalyst for their creative narratives, the building blocks for their own epic sagas.

The Nature Story Trail is more than an outdoor activity; it's a challenge, a provocation to the norms of our digitised society. It's about fostering a deep, abiding connection between our children and the natural world, a connection that sparks their creativity and fuels their curiosity!

If you would like to join us on the next Nature Story Trail, which will wind its way along the enchanting Slaithwaite canal, register today and let’s celebrate a return to the roots and a rediscovery of the world outside the confines of our screens. Let's encourage our children to step onto this trail, minds teeming with excitement and hearts open to the stories yet to be discovered. Join us for the upcoming Nature Story Trail—because it's time for their imaginations to take root and flourish in the fertile soil of nature's narrative.


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