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When carrying out training to become a North Downs Way Ambassador, part of the final assessment was to complete a set of questions and to plan a walk and talk for others on the course. One question asked, "how would I introduce my walk to a group I were leading". This was my answer below, a poem that got its first reading on the final assessment walk on the North Downs Way.
a Way with words (the poem)
Welcome to you all on this fine and beautiful day,
For an amble upon the enchanting North Downs Way.
There’s much to do, to see, to hear, and lots of fun learning,
And very soon I am confident you’ll all be greatly yearning,
To be joining us once again on another inspiring walk,
And enjoy being together for a friendly ramble and a talk.
With every step we’re taking, there’s a photo just awaiting.
And new and pleasant memories for us to start creating.
I promise we’ll take it easy, and often we will rest
And any questions that you have, I will do my best,
And don’t forget you’ll need to drink a good amount of water,
At least 2 litres I advise, that’s about 3 pints and a quarter.
A way with words, but just how do you describe such embellished splendour,
Or away with words, and just sit and contemplate in silent, sweet surrender.
It’s time to engage with all of our senses and breath in the clean fresh air.
And taste the morning dew drops and let the winds flow through our hair.
See the fields of gold and the farmers drilling seeds, in their green JD tractors.
And views so far and wide of windmills, church towers and nuclear reactors.
Or red evening skies as shepherds delight of a beautiful tomorrow that’s pending
And a thousand-year-old yew, or a weeping willow with all of it plumage bending.
Or let’s listen to the cackles of the magpies, they can only bring us joy
There really is so much to do for every adult, and dog, and girl, and boy
So, what makes these north downs so special, well, tell me if I’m wrong,
To me, they are the canvas of an artist and the best rhythms of a song.
The North Downs Way, 153 miles and perhaps a few footprints over,
From Farnham, through Surrey and Kent, to the white chalk cliffs of Dover.
With stunning scenery and picture postcard villages,
And amazing tales of wartime's, and of daring day light pillages.
There’s history to discover, around each and every corner
And spectacular views that just everywhere adorn her.
And two areas of outstanding natural beauty,
Not to mention those, I’d be failing in my duty.
Traditional country pubs and beers made from local grown hops
And vineyards and exquisite wines from the finest of grape crops,
Now it’s time to join the many pilgrims who have gone for centuries before.
The North Downs Way is waiting for us. Are you ready to explore?
Feel our voice
Feel our voice was written to celebrate the opening of a new artwork called "Feel our voice", a creative bench to sit upon shaped as the soundwave for the word "together". It is located on the North Downs Way near the village of Old Wives Lees in Kent. The poem, a love story, incorporates words collected together from local people and is inspired by the beautiful location.
The poem's first reading was delivered at the opening on Saturday 28th January 2022.
More details of this will follow soon.
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