A Poem About Making Space for Nature

14 February 2024

We were delighted when a participant from our Riverside workshop sent us a poem she had written that was inspired by the day, by the need for nature recovery, and by the idea that the time has come for us to listen to nature.  It was also inspired by the fact that the afternoon session was very nearly scuppered by the sewage mains becoming blocked, and the toilets closed!    Thank you Rachael Noxon, for your wonderful words!

Making Space for Nature Workshop at Riverside Country Park

Down by the river, a building stood,

Crowned in clay tiles, with a heart of oak wood And inside, this day, under each beam and rafter

The oak building thronged with chatter and laughter People gathered in joint endeavour

Muttering “sadly it’s now or it’s never”


“It’s The Garden of England, but the flowers have faded We can’t let it get any further degraded”

“Connecting today is really so great,

It’s a shame this action is thirty years late”

Though oak joists and floorboards were subtly creaking The voice of the oak was drowned out by speaking


The oak timbers sighed: “these are nice enough folks, But none quite remembers to listen to oaks.

Making Space for Nature is our strong suit;

We make generous branches where owls can hoot

The bark of our trunks, with its nooks, cracks and niches Make bespoke little homes for hundreds of species”

From their winter sunbathing, up on the roof The clay tiles chimed in, to offer their truth: “If we may be bold, and speak up for soil,

We think they forget it’s more precious than oil, Soils are alive; we are far from inert

For too long we soils have been treated like dirt”


A crow on the roof heard this lament And winged off over the carpark cement,

Swooping down low where mudflats glistened

“Caw Caaawed” to the river, and the old river listened: ‘Indeed’, mused the river in deepest reflection, ‘People are losing their nature connection

Life disconnected, will stagnate and wither’

To the black-hooded messenger, whispered the river: “Help people remember what they already know; The nature of life is It All Needs To Flow.

Take, in your beak, this kernel of wisdom:

Show how things go when you obstruct the system”


Back flew the crow, and proclaimed, to the roof “The river says show them some first hand proof that connection and flow are key to the scheme” “And space for all lifeforms” creaked an oak beam “Put back what is missing, nurture, restore


Use every spare corner to give nature more”

The clay tiles just stared at the toilet queue

Pondering the untapped potential of poo

“We’ve got it!”, they gasped, “we need some assistance From underground pipes and lavatory cisterns”

Inside now, somebody steps up to speak:

“It’s not great news, it’s really quite bleak”


(‘This is it’ thinks the oak, ‘they do understand!’)

“We’re so very sorry, it’s not what we planned”

(The crow stoops to listen; her feathered head cocked)

“We just can’t go on, the system is blocked

It can’t take any more and it’s starting to stink It’s a terrible mess, IT’S TIME TO RETHINK”

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