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March 04, 2020 Wednesday 05:25:55 PM IST

The Walking Library for Forest Walks

Education Information

The Walking Library will be striding out as part of the National Forest Walking Festival in May and Timber festival in July.

Individuals and organisations with a connection to the National Forest in the East Midlands are being asked to make recommendations of the books they would take with them when walking in the Forest. The books will then be physically sourced - donated or purchased – catalogued, ticketed, then browsed by walkers before being packed into rucksacks to be taken on a specific forest walk. Out on the trail, the walkers might pause a moment, share a passage from one of books, then continue on their way as the group reflect and chat about the books as they walk through the landscape. 

The Walking Library is part of an ongoing art project launched in 2012 by artists Professor Dee Heddon and Misha Myers, supported by the University of Glasgow. Amongst other editions of the Walking Library, they have curated an urban library, a women’s library, and a Scottish bothy library. In each iteration of the Library, the books reflect and ‘speak to’ the context of the walks. 

The Walking Library for Forest Walks is likely to contain books and writings about trees and forests, ranging from the artistic, creative and poetic, to the autobiographical, factual, environmental and ecological. The Walking Library for Forest Walks will make two outings during the National Forest Walking Festival (16/17 May) and two more at Timber festival (4/5 July). At the end of each walk, participants will be invited to note down their thoughts about the experience or draw a map tracing it. These will then be collected to make the final book of the Walking Library for Forest Walks, one which draws on the walkers’ experiences to make a physical record of the walks themselves. Each walking participant can also suggest a book for the Walking Library. As a memento of their walk, each participant is presented with a Walking Library rucksack patch.


The Walking Library for Forest Walks has been commissioned by the National Forest Company and will be housed as a collection in the Forest, for educational, health and community purposes. A library catalogue of all the books suggested and donated, along with the reason for each book’s selection, will be available online. The Library itself will be displayed at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum throughout the course of the National Forest Walking Festival in May, at Timber festival near Ashby de la Zouch 3 – 5 July, and then held at the National Forest Company offices in Moira, to be used at local library and community spaces and on future Walking Library for Forest Walks excursions.


How to suggest a book for the library:

If you want to suggest a book for the library, See the following prompts to help you think of the perfect book to take for a walk in the forest:


What book would help you see the forest for the trees?

What book would provide seeds for thought and future forests?

What leaves would you want to turn and share?

What forest stories stretch both legs and minds?


Books can be for adults, children and young people. Find out more and add your recommendation by filling in the simple online form at https://www.nationalforest.org/campaign/the-walking-library by 1 April 2020. 



(Content and Image Courtesy: https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_713126_en.html)



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