A poem by Lauren Kendrick

Inspired by Nene Park

You may not see us as we scurry through the trees
Our footsteps are light and our giggle soprano.
In the thicket of trees we have danced with the bees, 
Whilst the sun is high in the sky.
But now the nights are drawing in there is still plenty to see, 
so come on a journey with me.
We may be known for mischief, and nighttime foolery 
but elves see and we need your help!

Adventure never ends in this twisty turny woody playground.
Forests are full of stories and friends
Look high, look low, do you see magic all around you?
Run your fingers across the cushiony green moss 
Luscious green homes for insects
Pillowy food pockets for birds
Let fingers trace the grooves of bark
Rotting and squishy or rough and sharp
What shapes can you spot in natures notepads?

Look up through the branches can you see the sky?
Stand on one leg and be like a tree 
Stretch and bend your arms, reach for the sunlight
How long can you hold it?
Or do you quiver in the breeze?

Can you glide like a leaf falling from the tree 
Little higher
Little lower
And gently rest on the ground.

Down here with an ear to the earth, can you imagine the world below?
Under our feet microorganisms are working, 
where worms wriggle and slither,
seeds settle patient for the soil to heat,
ready to burst into springs fresh bloom.
Little casts of tracks of rain dances as worms reach for the skies.
Layers of information from fallen leaves of times gone by.

If you stay very still 
Be very quiet now…
Can you spot the prickly teasels?
Or the spiky thistles?
Quiet now and watch,
Stay very still…
You may be rewarded with glimpses of gold.
Can you hear our social timid friends? 
Tiny goldfinches twittering calls.

Not all friends are shy,
Can you hear the chatters? 
Long-tailed with black and white feathers.
Do you know the bird?
Love trinkets and shinys,
Greet them for good luck, 
Who is it?
The magpies! 
Do you laugh with friends with such gusto?
Can you hop two footed as far as them?
Hop, hop, fly

Not all forest friends are so noisy.
Our eight-legged artist allies.
Protectors of our food supply.
Their artistry unmatched,
Intricate outdoor tapestries
Look at the spiders’ webs,
crochet of silk spun from their bum,
To capture their dinner,
And save our crops.
Yet hunted by our feathered chums.
Take a minute to admire
How the frost illuminates their craft

Now look around,
Have you spotted our curious redbreasted friend?
Their inquisitive head moving left to right
Watching closer as we explore 
Singing songs year-round,
Hopeful little red robin

Not all of our friends are awake, 
for some need to hibernate
Dormice nestle and snuggle
Sleeping through the frosty times in homemade nests of grasses
Be careful when exploring so you don’t disturb them 
How awful it is to be woken early

Take time to admire the splendours of Nene Park
You will never be alone here with us
We can dance, scrabble and appreciate 
For the seasons change and the land shifts
But there is always beauty amongst the forest
What would we do without all of this?

So help us please
Pick up your litter
Leave the leaves 
And gently patter
For our friends our sleeping 
And some are shy 
But marvel with us
Protect the soil and celebrate the earth
Share stories of our forest friends
So our adventure may never end.