Pennine trek raises £3,000 for women's poetry organisation - and leaves treasures behind

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A treasure trove of six prize-winning poems in the form of small art objects was left along the Pennine Way after a charity walk earlier this summer by poet Richard Skinner, pictured. Some of the objects that were tucked away in ruins, shepherd’s huts, and trig points along the way may still be waiting to be discovered after being placed there by Skinner, who walked the 268 miles of the Pennine Way from Edale, in the Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Park to Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border.

He was raising money for the Rebecca Swift Foundation, which organises the Women Poets’ Network and the Women Poets’ Prize, and aims to advance the craft, creativity and wellbeing of women poets in the UK.  It was set up in memory of Rebecca Swift, founder of a literary consultancy dedicated to helping aspiring writers, who died of cancer, aged 53, in 2017.  

Richard’s walk has so far beaten his £2,500 target, and raised over £3,000.

Here are some of the comments he shared when it was all over:

embedded image from entry 124374 “Much to my own surprise, the terrain that I enjoyed the most on the Pennine Way were the moors. I loved how empty, yet full, they were. I loved how lonely but not isolationist they felt. They were the landscape that I felt most ‘involved’ in. Love a moor.

“Most essential, indispensable piece of equipment? Poles! Primarily, of course, they are stabilisers, but they also act as dipsticks, banisters, brakes, pole vaults and metronomes. .

“High points: too many to mention. The one little moment that I enjoyed the most was the wee reveal of how to get over Shitlington Crags. So hidden and unexpected! Low points: there were a few, but I hope I never, ever, ever have to do that horrendous steep path up Brownrigg Head again. Ever. Sound on the Pennine Way that’s seared into my heart: the cry of lapwings. Sounds like a doll being squeezed.

embedded image from entry 124373 “Most valuable on-route resource: May’s shop and the Co-ops in Hebden Bridge, Gargrave, Hawes, Middleton-on-Tees, Alston, Bellingham—all of which I visited. Lifesavers! Best B&B: Fell View, Slaggyford (by a country mile). Best beer: Black Sheep or Landlord. Maybe Janus at Twice Brewed? Or Northern IPA at The Cheviot. Can’t decide.”

Richard left his objects to find at Top Withens; Pen-y-Ghent summit cairn; Tan Hill Inn; Cross Fell summit cairn; Greg’s Hut; and Yearning Saddle Hut. He is a writer working across fiction, life writing, essays, non-fiction and poetry. He has published three novels with Faber & Faber, four books of non-fiction and four books of poetry. His latest poetry pamphlet, Dream into Play, will be published by Poetry Salzburg on 15 August.

 

 

◄ The Talking Stick: O Pookering Kosh, Raine Geoghegan, Salmon

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