New Cheshire Wildlife Trust partnership dovetails poetry and conservation

An exciting new partnership between an English Literature and Creative Writing Lecturer at the University of Manchester’s School of Arts, Languages and Cultures and the Cheshire Wildlife Trust serves to give conservation wings with poetry.

Dr Clara Dawson is beginning a new project, ‘A History of Poetics Birds’ and will be working alongside the Trust to create a series of events designed to raise awareness of bird conversation issues and bring together both poets and conservationists.

The decline of bird populations in Britain is one of the most conspicuous environmental effects brought about by sustained human intervention in global ecosystems. Nevertheless, the significance of birds within British cultural heritage is in no doubt.

In virtually every culture that produces poetry, and in almost every historical period, birds have been a feature of poetry. Birds are one of the most common animals that we engage with on an ordinary and daily basis, while they inspire artistic flights that take us beyond the limits of our physical and imaginative experience. Since the earliest poetic productions, where birds were emissaries to the gods, to contemporary poems where a merlin hunting a lark depicts the ravages of love, humans have turned to birds as a way of understanding the world around them and their place within it.

The project aims to contribute to our understanding of cultural and imaginative attitudes to birds in Britain and to further our understanding of how those attitudes shape human interventions that impact on birds and their habitats.

Cheshire Wildlife Trust has 13,000 members and oversees 45 nature reserves, engaging with thousands of people each year through its events and education programmes. By working with Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Dr Clara Dawson will be able to help them achieve one of their strategic goals, that more people need to feel a deeper connection to the natural world.

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