What a magical experience we had on Thursday, as Kate Innes transported us into the Shropshire woods! Our Year 4, 5 and 6 classes and their teachers were captivated by Kate’s account of how walks in these woods and the exploration of British trees shaped and enriched her writing. Following Kate’s gentle encouragement, we imitated the rustle of leaves with our hands, whistle-sighed like the wind though woodland trees, imagined faces staring at us from tree trunks and felt the hair on our necks rise as though there were tree spirits watching us.

We also learnt about the significance and importance of specific tree species, particularly ones with red berries, such as the holly. In folklore, these berries are said to ward off evil, but only if they are secured by a red thread. Red yew berries, however, are another matter altogether….

In addition to her fascination with folklore, Kate’s interest and training in archaeology has drawn her to collect fossils, some of which she brought along to share with the children. Kate has very kindly left a few with us in the library to allow our keen fossil hunters time to explore them.

Thank you, Kate, for a fascinating introduction to your book, Greencoats, and the rich world of British folklore.

Mrs N. Beyers

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