Summer exhibition - The Lost Spells

28 June 2023

This summer the North York Moors National Park’s gallery will be hosting a beautiful new exhibition inspired by the acclaimed nature book The Lost Spells and running a series of complementary events that deepen people’s connections with the natural world.

The Lost Spells: Listening to a Landscape of Voices exhibition, which includes artwork and a specially-created immersive soundscape featuring wildlife recordings and spell songsis going on tour after 11 months at The Sill in Northumberland and the first venue will be the Inspired by… gallery at Danby Lodge National Park Centre in the North York Moors.

Owl illustration from The Lost Spells

Running from 15 July to 10 September, the family-friendly exhibition will bring to life the enchanting spell poems in the book, the sequel to the bestselling The Lost Words, written by Robert Macfarlane and illustrated by Jackie Morris.

The exhibition, which is free to enter, will echo The Lost Spells intention that each poem, which is dedicated to an animal, bird, tree or flower, should be read aloud. Along with admiring the beautiful illustrations, visitors will be able to hear recordings of wildlife such as owls, curlews and foxes and acoustic music from the Spell Songs.

For spellbound youngsters there will be a creative hub with sensory trays and drawing activities in the exhibition, while from 21 July, they will also be able to follow The Magic of Nature Trail in the grounds of Danby Lodge listening out for nature’s sounds whether it’s a robin chanting or an oak tree’s leaves rustling.

On the 3 August, there’s a special event called Becoming Fox in the company of performing artist Bidi Iredale and Cleveland Fibre Arts who will take children on a journey into the natural world using storytelling and mask making.

Fox illustration from The Lost Spells

Meanwhile for adults there are two creative writing workshops on 29 July and 2 September when author Clara Challoner Walker and poet Janet Dean will draw inspiration from the exhibition to encourage would-be writers.

Sally Ann Smith, curator of the Inspired by… gallery comments: “We’re delighted to be the first tour venue for the exhibition, particularly as it is so inspiring and a wonderful way to help people feel more connected both with nature and our cherished landscapes.

“We’ve lined up an events programme that will mirror and build upon the messages within the exhibition while providing a fun day out for children and adults alike.”

The Lost Spells: Listening to a Landscape of Voices exhibition is in association with Penguin Books, and supported by the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland.

For more details about the exhibition, booking details for The Magic of Nature Trail and other events go to


Media contacts

Amanda Brown on M: 07876 452580 or email:


Nina Beadle
Communications Officer, North York Moors National Park Authority
01439 772700

The North York Moors National Park

The North York Moors is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, ancient woodland and historic sites. Created on 28 November 1952, it became Britain’s sixth national park. Covering an area of 554 square miles (1,436 square kilometres) the National Park has 26 miles of coastline, two national nature reserves, 840 Scheduled Monuments and over 3,000 listed buildings, attracting an estimated 8.4 million visitors a year.

The National Park has two visitor centres, Danby Lodge National Park Centre and Sutton Bank National Park Centre, providing opportunities for cycling, walking, eating, picnicking, shopping, crafts and wildlife-watching. The centre in Danby also houses the Inspired by… gallery, which features regularly changing exhibitions by artists who draw their inspiration from the North York Moors.

The North York Moors National Park Authority works with a wide variety of people to care for this beautiful corner of Yorkshire, providing apprenticeships and volunteering opportunities with nearly 14% of staff being apprentices from local families.

To view other press releases and for further information about the North York Moors National Park, visit

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