Norwich bookseller and author launch initiative to inspire children with nature book giveaway

Chrildren from St John's Primary School, Hoveton with a copy of 'The Lost Words' presented by Henry

Chrildren from St John's Primary School, Hoveton with a copy of 'The Lost Words' presented by Henry Layte from the Book Hive and local author Patrick Barkham.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

From acorns to wrens and conkers to dandelions - a Norwich bookseller and local author hope their new initiative will see children explore nature through words.

Sennen from St John's Primary School, Hoveton with a copy of 'The Lost Words' presented by Henry La

Sennen from St John's Primary School, Hoveton with a copy of 'The Lost Words' presented by Henry Layte from the Book Hive and local author Patrick Barkham.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Henry Layte, owner of the Book Hive in Norwich, has teamed up with author Patrick Barkham, who is based in Hoveton, to deliver free copies of an award-winning book to children.

They visited St John's Primary in Hoveton to hand out the first copies of The Lost Words, by Robert Macfarlane and artist Jackie Morris, which contains paintings and poems celebrating 20 everyday wild species.

It was inspired by a crowdfunding campaign in Scotland, which saw 2,087 copies bought for every school in the country. Author Susan Hill, who has lived in north Norfolk, then suggested people should buy copies for their school.

Mr Layte, who founded the Book Hive nine years ago and lives in Aylsham, said: 'Despite living in a relatively rural location, owning a bookshop in Norwich and having small children of my own has made me all too aware that the threat to children's access to both the outdoors and books is very real.

Sennen from St John's Primary School, Hoveton with a copy of 'The Lost Words' presented by Henry La

Sennen from St John's Primary School, Hoveton with a copy of 'The Lost Words' presented by Henry Layte from the Book Hive and local author Patrick Barkham.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher


You may also want to watch:


'Robert and Jackie's masterpiece will not solve those issues overnight, but it is quite capable of instilling a life long love of both things in any chid who picks it up.

'If getting a few more copies into schools helps that to happen, our idea will have succeeded.'

Most Read

After the visit, the pair donated 20 books to primaries across north Norfolk and Broadland, including North Walsham, Aylsham and Reepham.

Mr Barkham, who has written books including The Butterfly Isles and Islander, said: 'The Lost Words is a wonderful book for children and adults – inspiring us to enjoy and cherish everyday nature all around us.

'As parents we all worry about our kids spending too much time in front of screen indoors. I hope books like The Lost Words will encourage us all to get outside again this spring.

'The more teachers, librarians, parents and children discover this brilliant book, the better.'

The duo will be selling copies of the books at a discounted rate for parents and teachers who want to stock their school libraries.

The Book Hive, which opened in 2009, has won several awards, attracts overseas visitors and received praise from Stephen Fry.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus