My new writing course on nature and the environment – October 2019 – with field trips led by local expert Simon Pawsey of Cairngorms Birding in the stunning Cairngorms National Park.  See Writing Courses page for full details.









Look what I came across on a walk in South Lakeland Yesterday – an unforeseen consequence of Storm Desmond – hedges netted to stop birds nesting, presumably in case the contractors who are going to replace the road wanted to start work in the nesting season. But they haven’t!! I will be contacting Cumbria County Council to ask them to remove the netting and if they don’t, I will take it all down myself. This has to stop. It as absolute madness – and the net is of course made of indestructible polypropylene material. Do these people just not get the biodiversity crisis we are in? Have fun with reel strike slot machine along with earn without leaving behind your house!





World Curlew Day Spoken Word Fundraiser

Hosted by Karen Lloyd, at Kendal’s wonderful Waterside Cafe, 7pm, on Sunday 21st April,

featuring poets Kerry Darbishire, Gary Liggett, Po Yarwood and the amazing Mary Keith curlew choir leader. Come and listen and sing to help raise funds for essential curlew restoration work. Sick and tired of looking forward to every thing to switch? Currently they allow this as a result of! Rush upwards, since the give is proscribed!

Email me for more info.



Very pleased and proud to have won The Arts and Literature Prize at the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards today, 10th July 2018, during a very enjoyable fund-raising event at Castle Green Hotel. Made even more special as over £1500 were raised for St Mary’s Hospice, Ulverston, which belonged to my ‘auntie Doris and uncle Bob Wright,’ – my adoptive long term friends, and with whom I spent a formative part of my childhood.




This morning me, Fiona Clucas and Tonia Armer hosted the first meeting for Curlew Country Cumbria for NGO’s, landowners, farmers and individuals. We had 19 folks around the table including RSPB, Natural England, Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Morecambe Bay Partnership, Butterfly Conservation and the Moorland Association listening to Amanda Perkins of Curlew Country – the Stiperstones and Corndon Hill Landscape Partnership – with whom I worked in 2016 and which is how I got into the whole curlew thing. What do curlews need in order to begin recovering in Cumbria, and what can we do to make this happen? We had an inspiring set of suggestions and have received the first pledges of financial support. How brilliant is that!? Beginning one farmer, one field, one valley, we can now say that this breeding season will see the beginnings of nest monitoring, recording sightings of potentially breeding birds and other practical measures. Grand as ‘owt..

Here is an excellent review of my new book by Katherine Norbury, published on Caught by the River website:

The Blackbird Diaries

Curlew Calling Cover


Great news – The British Trust for Ornithology will be taking on my Curlew Calling Anthology to sell, proceeds for curlew restoration projects.



The midsummer Sprint Mill Spoken Word Evening is on Saturday 15th July at 7.30pm. In addition to the Cumbria launch of the new Curlew Calling Anthology of Writing and Images in Celebration of Curlew, we will be joined by guest readers poet Sarah Hymas and Simon Sylvester, author of The Visitors. Kerry Darbishire, Jonathan Humble and others, hosted by Karen Lloyd.

Booking advisable – email edward acland (


Curlew on gate 3

The First Northern Curlew Weekend is coming up on weekend of 2nd – 4th June 2017, organised by Karen Lloyd and Mary Colwell, hosted by Tom Orde-Polwett of Bolton Castle, the weekend will feature the Cumbria and North-West Conservation Conservation for NGO’s, to look at what might be done to restore or at least conserve our dwindling curlew populations. There will be wildlife safaris, ringing demonstrations, art events, Society of Wildlife Artists Exhibition, the launch of the Curlew Calling Anthology and much more.

Please see Bolton Castle website for full details. click on events

Live link to Stiperstones and Corndon Hill nest camera!

(Picture Credit Tony Cross)










Call out for entries – An Anthology in Celebration of Curlew


Please submit up to three poems or non-fiction of up to 1,000 words on the theme of curlew and the landscapes they inhabit. Poems also considered on other threatened wading birds. All profits will go directly to working to defend and stabilise curlew breeding populations in the UK. Send to Closing date 7th April.



Mountain Fest promo


Very much looking forward to appearing in my home town at Kendal Mountain Festival on Sunday 20th November, 10.30am, interviewed by Ulverston’s very lovely Caroline Gilfillan. For full information on the festival and tickets, visit


A fabulous line-up of writers, poets and performers next Saturday, 10th September at Sprint Mill’s Spoken Word evening, Featuring James Roberts of Zoomorphic magazine, Kim Moore, Mark Ward,Caroline Gilfillan and The Wordsworth Trust. Luke Brown, Jennifer Copley,Katie Hale, Geraldine Green and an award winning  performance by Rosa Matarewicz. Happy Days!


Spoken Word Evening 10th September


The Curlew Country Project is over for now – thanks indeed to The Stiperstones and Corndon Hill Landscape Partnership for funding and putting together an inspirational team to work alongside. Here’s a link to a short film about the project which involved a community choir, writing workshops, visits to curlew nests and meeting with Mary Colwell-Hector during her 500 mile curlew walk.




Just home from The Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year Awards – The Gathering Tide won Eric Robson’s Striding Edge Productions Prize for Place award and was runner-up in The Lakeland Book of the Year – a great event.


cc DSC05095

Four more days spent in Shropshire with the Stiperstones and Corndon Hill Landscape Partnership Ground Nesting Birds Recovery scheme. Walking with BBC producer Mary Colwell-Hector for a day on her 500 mile walk from the west coast of Ireland to the east coast of England to raise awareness of the dire situation these iconic birds are facing. Now writing up the project during which I was privileged to visit nest sites: singing for curlew with choir leader Mary Keith, collecting people’s thoughts on these iconic birds and working with sculptor Bill Sample and award-winning wildlife photographer Ben Osborne.

For further information see below. Please send me your thoughts on these wonderful birds.

3.3 Ground-Nesting Birds Recovery Project


The Ark of Lost Things Open Day and Spoken Word Evening – Saturday 30th April


Open Day 11.00 am to 4.30 pm

View the unique collection of Sprint Mill, woodland trails, picnic area, tea and cake, cagmagery workshops and creative writing.

Spoken Word evening 7.30 – 10 pm featuring Catherine Kay of The Wordsworth Trust Edward Acland, Katie Hale, Harriet Fraser, Karen Lloyd and many more.

Celebrating the Arts Council Funded photography and creative writing project.

Sprint Mill Burneside near Kendal



Words by the Water – Tuesday 8th March Sold Out

Appearing at Lancaster’s Litfest – Thursday 17th March with Andrew Michael Hurley – author of The Loney

18th February – ‘The Gathering Tide’ top seller Waterstones Kendal two weeks now!

Guardian Country Diary 

27th January 2016

Friday 4th December 2015

October 29th 2015:

Karen’s work has been published in The Clearing Online literary magazine; and on The Island Review;

The essay and celebration of the River Kent, ‘The River at my Side’, published in the literary magazine, ‘Caught by the River’.

The Great Outdoors magazine – October 2015, England’s Last Golden Eagle – a walk around the Riggindale Horseshoe.

An extract from The Gathering Tide was published in 2015 in the Backroad Journal Vol 2. This literary journal exploring and celebrating less well known places is available from the bookshop at The London Review of Books:

The London Review of Books bookshop

14 Bury Place, London, WC1A 2JL

Tel: 020 7269 9030