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Poet in the Park: Winter Inspired by Bradgate Park

There’s a lazy sun on the surface of the Lin, the oak trees look on with casual indifference. Ducks are dabbling for buried treasure; tails up, beaks down in the cold water.

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Wednesday 6th December
10.00 – 12.00

We are very excited to announce a new project with Loughborough University – A Poet in the Park

Loughborough University lecturer Dr Kerry Featherstone will take up role of poet in residence at Bradgate Park in an exciting new project looking at creative inspiration from one of Leicestershire’s most-loved and heritage-rich landscape

Dr Kerry Featherstone, who oversees the University’s MA in Creative Writing, will lead workshops, poetry walks and readings at the Leicestershire Park throughout the year, including his own and visitor’s creative writing.

The project will offer visitors the chance to write about the Park, its history and wildlife, over the course of the coming seasons. Participants will be able to share their poems on a blog, on this page, at readings and as part of an exhibition, which will also be supported by images from Leicester Forest Photographic Society.

Kerry said “I know that Bradgate Park is a favourite place for lots of people in the region; I love going there as well. This is a chance to bring some poetry to the Park, and to encourage people to get creative in their response to the natural world, and their own memories”.

Activities will start on Wednesday, December 6th, from 10am – 12pm.

We’ll be exploring some of the landscape (seasonal weather permitting) and thinking about the approach of winter. Anyone is welcome to take part: no previous experience of writing is required. Places are free, but limited in number so must be booked.

This is part of our Bradgate Inspires campaign, that recognises the creative inspiration the Park offers.

Sunday Afternoon at Bradgate Park

There’s a lazy sun on the surface of the Lin,

the oak trees look on

with casual indifference.

Ducks are dabbling for buried treasure;

tails up, beaks down in the cold water.


For the humans, there’s an ice-cream kiosk,

the tea-rooms, with their cakes and quiches…

One family has booked a pub lunch and they’re late;

one’s already walking off a roast and a pint.


There are dogs of all sizes of paw and bark and nose:

it’s Sunday afternoon in Bradgate Park.


Apart from the pines, the trees are undressed

by the weather and the winds, and the leaves are left

in fashionable colours for the season:

russet and amber, fawn and chestnut…


The conversation never ends: in English, Urdu,

between family and friends.  Dad is telling another story,

and risks holding up the entire party.

Mother-in law is being brisk.  Are we all here?


The traffic is jammed: entire clans disembark from people carriers:

it’s Sunday afternoon at Bradgate Park.


You can hear the secret language of toddlers on bikes,

stabilisers, brakes and stickers,

a wobbly handlebar and a purple Fruit Shoot

steering straight into the frames of pictures


being taken by a flock of photographers,

with tripods and lenses: deer in their sights

and exposure on their minds.  In the gorse and the heather

at all times, in all weathers, right in the thick of it.


There’s wellies, inline wheels, silly heels, hiking boots, Nike and Clarks…

Because it’s Sunday afternoon at Bradgate Park.


There’s that bloke who cleans the windows,

a Tiger’s fan whose hair is thinning.  A cyclist

with lycra buttocks, spinning his wheels in

a muddy puddle.  More Bradley Walsh than Bradley Wiggins.


Here’s the volunteers, getting hot and sweaty, despite the month:

it’s heavy work on the gates and fencing, lots of tea required.

And the rangers put out fires and keep the wildlife fit and healthy.  And a million

other things you don’t know about if you’re not a ranger.


And there’s Lady Jane.  She kept that dark.  No ghost-hunters or executions:

not on a Sunday afternoon at Bradgate Park.


What do you do when the sun goes down?  Nip out the gates

before they’re closed.  And leave the place to the bats

and the badgers and the beetles living in the bark.

And all the rest.  They’re here all week, at Bradgate Park.




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