Writing the Landscape with Bel Greenwood

Writing the Landscape explores the connections people have discovered in Lockdown and the thoughts and ideas it has created.




September 2020

During the Lockdown period many people rediscovered a connection with the landscape and environment around them. Daily walks and gardening began to become the “new norm” for many people.

As part of our Creative Conversations in Isolation commissions programme, writer Bel Greenwood facilitated an online space for people to share their discoveries through writing and to be inspired by the Fenland landscape. Using her wide range of experience Bel encouraged writers of all levels to find and celebrate their voice.

“Fen. One New Year’s Day, in deep frost, teasels shining in the watery light of early morning, I scrunched my way along the bank, revelling in the crispness of the air, the sunlight filtering through the rising mist.” Paul

Writing the Landscape has explored poetry, short stories and dialogues although due to COVID guidelines the group met online, sharing their thoughts and experiences of nature during the first Lockdown and the ongoing pandemic situation.

“Dear Robin. If I’d only sat up and taken the time to smell the damp earth and appreciated the beauty of my garden instead of considering my work a trial to endure, things could have been different.” Jacqui Fairfax

The online series of workshops has proven to be a very positive project, so much so that we are developing the workshops further to allow both Bel and the writers to continue exploring their ‘writing voices’ and also to consider where the body of work that they create will lead them.

“I Love the Ugliness in your Beauty. When I imagine other trees, those seasoned adorners of hillside and valley I find it is you that I admire, praise, long to be with, to watch you shapeshifting the clouds. For you are myth and myth-maker. You are my passion. You create beauty out of ugliness. You are Earth’s guardian.” Jean Rees-Lyons
“Notes from Madeline’s Patch. The soporific sound of pigeons cooing in the trees are all around us, nature’s lullaby on a drowsy summer’s afternoon. The maniacal laugh of a nearby green woodpecker rents the air.” Steve Parnwell

You can read some of the writing on the groups new blog which is all about nature, our relationship with it and the changes the writers have noticed in themselves and the world around them.

VISIT Leaping the Lockdown

Read an article about the project in The Local View, online magazine for Cambridgeshire