Campaign to fund Horndean inspired nature book Woodland Ways needs support to hit publishing target

A Kickstarter campaign to fund a nature book for children with illustrations inspired by Horndean woodland has only ten days left to hit its target.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 12:31 pm
Updated Friday, 19th March 2021, 12:37 pm
Paul Parsons, illustrator, with his son Eben

Created by a Havant-based author and an illustrator from Horndean, ‘Woodland Ways’ is a situation poetry book to help children understand and respect nature.

The project, which is on Kickstarter, needs to raise £134 to reach the £500 target necessary to publish the book.

Woodland Ways was created when Paul Parsons, who lives in Horndean with his wife Sarah and their five year old son Eben, teamed up with his sister-in-law, poet Dotty Bretton.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Inside Woodland Ways

Paul, 43, said: ‘The book is a lighthearted way of educating children about nature.

‘It’s appropriate for around four to seven-year-olds, and has a nice moral message.’

Paul says that he started producing the book earlier this year after being inspired by his lockdown walks with Eben in Bere Forest.

He said: ‘We got so annoyed with people chucking rubbish in the woods, so we started picking it up.’

The cover of Woodland Ways

The book will educate children about the right way to behave in nature, and how to respect the world around them.

Author Dotty said: ‘I noticed that I was constantly telling my children to 'not do that', 'stop that', 'that's wrong', and so on, and I realised I needed to approach challenging situations with positivity and provide clearer explanations to my children in a language they could relate to, through stories, characters and situation poetry.’

Paul, a graphics teacher at Havant and South Downs College, is a vector artist.

He also used photographs he has taken on his nature walks through the nearby woods in the book’s illustrations.

Paul added: ‘We want to keep the book as ethically made as possible and we have sourced some great quality recycled paper and a local printer.

‘Keeping the project local felt important to us as the book is about respecting nature and doing what we can to protect it.’

Paul has also taken inspiration from the people around him, and all the characters are based on people he and his son have been on walks with in the local woods.

One character, who wears a blue baseball cap, is inspired by Eben, and a little girl with curly brown hair is Eben’s best friend from school.

With just ten days left to fund the book, Paul is hoping that more people will help support Woodland Ways.

Paul said: ‘There’s a range of different ways to back the project.’

Those pledging £3 will be a named backer with their name printed in the first edition of the book, while anyone contributing £7 will receive a copy of the book and be a named backer.

Woodland Ways is ready to be printed as soon as the Kickstarter has been funded, after which copies of the book will go to Cumberland House and Portsmouth Museum.

Find out more by searching for Woodland Ways on Kickstarter.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to our online coverage, including Pompey, with 70 per cent fewer adverts for less than 20p a day.