Home > news > Blog > My Revitalising Redesdale: Finding Poetry Amid the Hills of Redesdale

My Revitalising Redesdale: Finding Poetry Amid the Hills of Redesdale

June 12, 2020

It may not feel like mid-June but summer is fast approaching and it is a great time to be out in the natural world! The birds are singing, wildflowers blooming, and lambs are putting on some timber.

This week we are handing over to Billy Bell, the famous Redesdale poet, to celebrate natural Redesdale and, perhaps, inspire you to write a poem about nature near you. As part of The Wildlife Trust’s 30 Days Wild challenge or simply because it is a wonderful way to engage with nature, why not write a poem about somewhere in Redesdale and send it to us. We would love to hear what you have to say!

Amid the hills of Redesdale. Photo Credit: Nick Lightfoot

From ‘Amid the Hills of Redesdale’ by William ‘Billy’ Bell

Now Phoebus with his kindly beams

Smiles sweet on woodland, fields and streams

Where happy songsters chant their themes

Amid the hills of Redesdale

Now with radiant stately mein

Summer spreads her mantle green

Where the new shorn flocks are seen

Amid the hills of Redesdale

Where the many coloured flowers

Sparkling with the dewy showers

Lighten up the fragrant bowers

Amid the hills of Redesdale

Leafy woods and ferny fells

Time worn deep and rocky dells

Clear cold bubbling crystal wells

Amid the hills of Redesdale

Where the heath bedecks the wold

Where the sunsets sink in gold

O’er the mountains grim and old

Amid the hills of Redesale

Where the pricker once did ride

Trusty broad sword by his side

Moon and stars his only guide

Amid the hills of Redesdale

Where the hut and sheltering peel

Oft the touch of fire did feel

When the Scotsmen came to steal

Amid the hills of Redesdale

Where the din of battle brayed

Where drank deep the flashing blade

Deeds of valour were displayed

Amid the hills of Redesdale

But these times have changed today

Blessed peace now holds her sway

May she reign for ay and ay

Amid the hills of Redesdale

If you haven’t already discovered it, Northumberland National Park’s collaboration with Simon Armitage – Poems in the Air – is a fantastic example of how poetry exists within the landscape. Where does poetry exist in Redesdale for you? Send us your poems about a place of natural beauty or evocative of the valley’s colourful history.

If you are looking for inspiration, you might find poetry in the ripples of wind through a wildflower meadow?

Restored meadow at Ravenscleugh Farm, 2019

Even if poetry is not your thing, look out for wildflowers in your local area, especially the not so familiar ones, such as wood cranesbill, sneezewort, globe flower and pignut. How many types can you spot? Don’t worry if you’re not an expert, snap a photo and add it to the inaturalist app and members of the recording community can help to identify it! You can also use Plantlife’s Spotter Sheets to get an idea of what to look out for each month.

Our Reflowering Redesdale project is all about increasing the wildflower diversity and connecting networks for pollinators, in hay meadows, village green-spaces, along road verges or in certain lay-by parking spots. If you would like to get involved in this project once we are able to work outside again, please get in touch with the Team.

Please remember to follow the UK Government’s guidance on enjoying time outdoors responsibly and be considerate of local communities: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Leave a Reply

Discover Redesdale, browse the interactive map and view points of interest, pictures and text, or even add your own information!

Revitalising Redesdale Partners are delivering a range of projects to “inspire and enable us all to care for Redesdale."

There are many events covering a wide range of topics and activities, find out what's on in Redesdale over the next few months.

For the most up-to-date information on events and volunteer activities, sign up to our mailing list and recieve them direct to your inbox. To find out how we use your data, read our Privacy Notice.