Winning poems chosen for our outdoor literacy sessions.

We are planning a new literacy activity for the new year where our visitors will use inspiration from our nature trail to create their own poetry.  Our volunteers rose to the challenge of a poetry competition and congratulations to  Pat Ealey and Lesley Nicolas whose poems were selected to be used as inspiration, they are wonderfully emotive and beautifully written. 


Roots, trunks, branches, twigs

Long necks topped with leafy wigs.

All different shapes, some broad some tall.

Some keep their leaves, some let them fall.

Jagged, smooth, or curvy leaves

Through them the tree lives and breathes.

Trunks help trees reach for the sky

Covered in bark keeping them safe and dry.

The bark can be smooth, thick or thin

Or wrinkled like an old person’s skin.

The roots spread out so a tree can stand 

Gripping the earth like a great big hand.

They take up water from the ground

Put your ear to the trunk to hear the sound.

In autumn leaves turn gold, red and brown

They shrivel, dry up and all fall down.

Trees in the winter might look dead

But they’re just sleeping, gone to bed.

Mysterious shapes, crooked skeletons in the night 

Soon covered in leaves when there’s more light.

Roots, trunks, branches, twigs

Long necks topped with leafy wigs.

Pat Ealey 



   The Veteran Oak

     My acorn fell as King Henry rode by,

     Buried deep by a squirrel in rich dark ground

     She forgot all about her acorn hoard

     So I sprouted and grew, slowly at first.

    Each spring my buds unfurled with fresh green leaves,

    Come autumn they turned golden brown and fell. 

     Aged one hundred I was strong and mighty.

     Home for many insects, birds and mammals,

     Woodpeckers drilled their nests in my gnarled trunk

     Luscious leaves food for hungry caterpillars,

     Acorns tasty food for deer, squirrels, mice 

     In May hinds and their fawns sheltered by me.

     Centuries have passed; I’ve weathered big storms, 

     The decaying wood in my hollow trunk,

     Perfect food for fungi and wood lice.

     I’ve many roots spreading to anchor me

     Rickety old branches twist and turn

     Now I’m very old they call me Veteran.

    Lesley Nicolas