Walk 17 – Walk & Talk With The Poet & Naturalist
DATE: Monday 22 August 2022
START LOCATION: Bedales School Car Park, Steep
WHAT3WORDS/GRID REF: ///.famines.clock.replayed ; SU742 252
DISTANCE: 4.5 miles
DURATION: 2.5 hours
A walk in the footsteps of famous local resident and poet, Edward Thomas, led by Jeremy Mitchell of The Edward Thomas Fellowship and accompanied by the renowned naturalist, poet and writer Matthew Oates. The route will visit local landmarks that both inspired and commemorate Thomas’ work. Along the way, Jeremy and Matthew will share readings of selected poetry and prose.
Jeremy is Chair of the Edward Thomas Fellowship, which was founded in 1980 to perpetuate the memory of poet Edward Thomas, and to foster interest in his life and works. The fellowship retains a relationship with the family and descendants of Thomas and also helps conserve the countryside, places and things associated with the writer. Every year the fellowship organises a couple of walking events local to Petersfield that follow in Thomas’ footsteps.
Matthew is an English naturalist and nature writer, in love with the natural world, particularly butterflies – especially the mighty Purple Emperor. He worked in nature conservation for some 40 years, primarily as a specialist advisor with the National Trust. You might have come across him on the TV, radio or newspaper, as he has been a contributor to Countryfile, the One Show, Springwatch, Radio 4 and writes a monthly Nature Notebook column for The Times. Now retired, he still helps the National Trust, Butterfly Conservation, the Heart of England Forest project and runs Purple Emperor Safaris at Knepp Castle Estate. The major influences on his career have been Edward Thomas, WH Hudson, Richard Jefferies and his cats.