Campaign raises £25k to give The Lost Words to Scottish primary schools

Campaign raises £25k to give The Lost Words to Scottish primary schools

A campaigner has crowdfunded more than £25,000 to give a copy of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Random House) to every primary school in Scotland.

Published in spring last year, The Lost Words celebrates the “lost” nature words, such as acor, willow and kingfisher, that used to be commonly used in the English language. It is shortlisted in The British Book Awards' Children's Book of the Year category.

The campaign was set up by Jane Beaton, who was inspired to raise the money after asking Macfarlane on Twitter if there were any plans to give copies to schools.

She said on the campaign page: “If you have seen, or heard about, or held a copy of this book then you will know what a magical thing it is.  The illustrations and words cannot fail to engage and inspire everyone who reads it to connect with the natural world and its sights and sounds. It is the book I would have grabbed every day at reading time as a child. With your support I aim to make that possible for every child in Scotland.”

Penguin Random House offered Beaton a special bulk-buy price, meaning she could buy a copy for the 2,087 primary schools in Scotland for £18,000. The final total money raised was, however, £25,076. Morris also offered one of her illustrations for Beaton to give away, with all donors to the fund being automatically entered into the competition.

Beaton told the Guardian volunteers will help her deliver the books across Scotland. “Getting it into schools is just the first step. This book has so much potential to impact on people in different ways. I’m hoping all the kids in Scotland will have an engagement with nature through this. I firmly believe that being outdoors and connecting with nature helps people’s mental health.”