Schools Programme

In the week prior to the Festival, BridLit will be hosting events in local schools, partly funded by Bridport Town Council.  With these events, we reach out into the community to bring children the experience of meeting a live author which we hope will inspire them to a world of reading and writing.  This year we welcome conservationist Hugh Warwick into primary schools to talk about all things hedgehog related, and young adult ficiton writer Yarrow Townsend to Colfox talk about her debut novel The Map of Leaves, and run a wrting workshop with students. 

Wednesday 2 Nov – Primary School – Hugh Warwick

Why did the hedgehog cross the road?

No, this is not the start of a joke, but a look at why the nation’s favourite animal needs special help. Hugh Warwick, author of three books about hedgehogs, will talk about why they fascinate him so much and maybe you will end up by becoming a prickly fan as well!

Venues: St Mary’s Primary, Bridport Primary (joined by Burton Bradstock primary)

Hugh Warwick is an ecologist and writer with a particular fondness for hedgehogs. The first of three books about hedgehogs was, A Prickly Affair, and remains unique for having accolades from both Jeanette Winterson and Ann Widdecombe on the cover. The second hedgehog book is a monograph on the iconography of the hedgehog – niche, yes, but also full of fun and beautiful illustrations. Most recently, September 2020, The Hedgehog Book – published by Graffeg. This looks at the hedgehog from both the scientific and the less scientific points of view – illustrated with oodles of gorgeous photographs.  In addition to writing he also does a lot of public speaking and broadcasting.

Thursday 3 Nov – THE MAP OF LEAVES – Yarrow Townsend

Bringing botanics and science to life for an eco-aware generation, Yarrow Townsend’s debut novel The Map of Leaves is set in a world where plants talk, friendship is hard-won and adventure is around the bend of every river.   Orla has lived on her own since Ma died, with only her beloved garden for company. When sickness comes and nature is blamed, Orla knows she must find a cure.   Armed with her mother’s book of plants and remedies, she steals away on a river boat with two other stowaways.  Soon the trio must navigate the rapids of the Inkwater to a poisonous place from which they may never return…

Venue: Sir John Colfox Academy

Yarrow Townsend spent her childhood among the moss, oak and heather of the New Forest. After working as a teacher, and then as a stable- hand, Yarrow completed an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University, before returning to the forest to work for the RSPB. Always in search of ways to be closer to the outdoors, Yarrow now lives on a narrowboat, travelling the canals with her garden on the roof. The Map of Leaves is inspired by her life by the woods and the water, and by her own parents’ herb books.

Follow her: @yarrowtownsend