PICTURES: New Lake District exhibition celebrates dying nature words

A new photography exhibition at the childhood home of Lake District poet William Wordsworth celebrates the dying dialect words for Britain’s landscape.

The Word-Hoard: Love letters to our land, which opens at the National Trust’s Wordsworth House in Cockermouth tomorrow (11 March), has been guest-curated by award-winning nature writer Robert Macfarlane. It follows his 2015 bestseller Landmarks, which explored the regional dialect words connected to nature, terrain and weather.

The exhibition brings together some of Macfarlane’s favourite dialect nature words alongside 25 photographs of the British landscape by the author’s parents, Rosamund and John Macfarlane.


Watergaw (Rainbow, Scots). Photograph shows the view from Watergate, Lowestwater, towards Crummock Water (Lake District). Credit: Rosamund & John Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane, who teaches English at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, said: “I spent two years gathering as many of our place-terms and nature-words as possible, from more than thirty languages and dialects around Britain and Ireland, and then releasing them back into imaginative circulation.

“Without words, the landscape can easily become a blandscape: generalised, indifferent, unobserved.”

The words in Macfarlane’s ‘hoard’ include shreep, an East Anglian word for mist clearing slowly, and sun-scald, a Sussex word for a patch of bright sunlight on water.

The Word-Hoard will be open daily, except Friday, until 3 September, and admission is included in entry to the house and garden.

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Fancy a round? Join Tony Hawks for a film screening at unique Trust pub

Fans of comedian, author and Radio 4 regular Tony Hawks are invited to join him at a film screening with a difference next week.

Tony will be introducing his new film, Playing the Moldovans at Tennis, at the National Trust’s newly-acquired pub, Sticklebarn, in Great Langdale on Friday 20 July, and then hosting a question and answer session afterwards.

This independent British feature film tells the true story of Tony and an unlikely bet which turned into a life-changing adventure. Dramatised from the best-selling book of the same name, it’s a unique production – all profits go to the care centre for children with cerebral palsy in Chisinau, Moldova, which Tony started with the royalties from the book.

The bet involved Tony playing and beating the entire Moldovan national football team at tennis, one by one. He thought it would be easy – until he encountered gangsters, corruption, difficult football managers and terrible poverty.  

This is the second time Tony has appeared in an adaptation of his own books, the first being Round Ireland With A Fridge. Tony’s acting credits also include Red Dwarf and Morris Minor’s Marvellous Motors, and he’s a regular on radio and TV panel shows such as Have I got News For You and Radio 4’s Just a Minute.

Deborah Robertson, Business Development Manager for the Central and East Lakes team at the National Trust, says she loved the idea of Sticklebarn hosting such a quirky film screening. She said: “This screening came about after Tony became a member of the National Trust. He wanted to raise awareness of what we do and the type of unusual venues we have and we jumped at the chance to see him at Sticklebarn.

“We only took over the pub in the Spring and is unique because it is the only Trust-run pub in the country so all the pub’s profits will be used to care for the land around it. That means NT staff behind the bar, serving the very best local fare, and sharing their knowledge and expertise of the outdoors with the thousands of visitors who come to this valley. We’re making plans for all sorts of events and this is a great one to start with.”

Tony said: “My girlfriend and I became National Trust members this year after making use of the cafe at Mompesson House in Salisbury. When we got talking to the staff, we realised what good value joining was and we signed up straight away. I love the concept of our national treasures being shared by all, and am delighted to be helping the Trust with this screening. I love the Lake District – who doesn’t – especially this year when it doesn’t actually appear to be any wetter than anywhere else in the UK!”

The Sticklebarn screening takes place on Friday July 20 at 7.45pm. Tickets are free, though places are limited so we’re asking people to book in advance by calling Sticklebarn on 015394 37356.

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Media inquiries: please contact Suzanne Elsworth, National Trust Communications Consultant, on 07770 635354 or email

Famed Lake District inn becomes only Trust-run pub in the country

A Lake District landmark has just become a National Trust destination with a difference.

The popular Sticklebarn pub in Great Langdale now has the status of being the only Trust-run pub in the country. That means NT staff behind the bar, serving the very best local fare, and sharing their knowledge and expertise of the outdoors with the thousands of visitors who come to this valley

The National Trust already cares for a huge amount of land in Great Langdale, and owns several farms, car parks, a hotel and a campsite. The addition of Sticklebarn will provide a new focal point for the valley, as a destination in its own right, but also as a gateway to all this valley and its environs have to offer.

Visitors are already seeing the benefits of the Trust’s ownership. More than £40,000 has been spent upgrading the public toilets located between Sticklebarn and the neighbouring National Trust car park. They now have changing facilities, perfect for those who have been walking, climbing, biking and bouldering on the Langdale fells.

And a new menu is in place in the pub featuring some of the very best local food and beer. Visitors will be able to try the likes of Cumbrian tattie pot and steak and local ale pie after a hard day on the fells – with some of the food sourced from the very fields which surround the pub. Many of the beers on offer will be from Cumbrian breweries too.

Jeremy Barlow, the National Trust’s General Manager for the Central and East Lakes region, said: “The Sticklebarn has been a key part of life in Great Langdale for more than 40 years and is already a popular destination for walkers, bikers, climbers and campers, as well as day trippers.

“We’re really excited about the opportunities this acquisition will give us and the benefits there will be for visitors. Even the most frequent visitors to the Lake District often don’t realise exactly how much of this amazing landscape the National Trust cares for. Running the Sticklebarn as a Trust pub will raise our profile immeasurably in a valley which is renowned for its outdoor activities but, more importantly, it will place our expert teams at the heart of the action, sharing their knowledge about this region and what it has to offer.

“Great Langdale is the perfect destination and, thanks to our acquisition of Sticklebarn, you can now eat and drink there, as well as sleep there, play there, and find your own special place there – with the added benefit of being able to tap into the Trust’s expertise.

“‘Field to fork’ takes on a whole new meaning when you can see the farmland where your dinner was born and raised by some of the Trust’s tenant farmers. The aim is to source as much food as possible from, firstly, the Langdale valley, then Cumbria, then more widely across the region and the UK. The same will be true of the beers on offer with the majority coming from Cumbrian breweries.

“And not only will visitors enjoy the Sticklebarn’s location at the heart of the Lake District, but they will also know that all the pub’s profits will be used to care for and protect the land around them.”