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WWF’s Earth Hour: Poetry in renewable motion

 

I’ve always believed that creating an opportunity for people to tap into their creative side is good for the soul and the mind. It helps people share their experiences and connect with others in a way that seems scarce in today’s fast moving and digital world.

Susan Richardson, who will be leading the workshop. © Rhys Jones

Other people must feel the same, as spaces on WWF Cymru’s Earth Hour poetry workshops are quickly filling up.

You may ask what the connection is between WWF’s Earth Hour and poetry? Well, in this case, it’s renewable energy (the focus of this year’s Earth Hour). Under the guidance of the writer and broadcaster Susan Richardson I will be joining children and adults at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff on Saturday 16 February to share our enthusiasm for harnessing the power of the planet in the form of a poem!

Susan is an experienced poet who specialises in environmental themes and who has more than 15 years’ experience of encouraging people of all ages to engage with the natural world through writing.

But she will have her work cut out, as I am no poet. I do, however, know a bit about Earth Hour, having been involved with it in Wales for the last five years. In that time it’s grown bigger each year.

It’s a simple ask: switch off your lights to show you care about the future of our brilliant planet and sign up online to join WWF’s Earth Hour community – so that you help WWF campaign throughout the year and not just for one hour! Last year, a whopping 7.6 million people participated in the UK, with a Welsh school, Ysgol Evan James in Pontypridd, leading the UK switch-off.

This year, WWF Cymru is working with organisations and communities across Wales to encourage them to participate. How about holding a candlelit dinner, using our Earth Hour recipes from celebrity chefs? And don’t forget to nominate somebody who’s doing great things in your community to help the environment in our Hidden Heroes competition.

Last year, I celebrated Earth Hour by joining a lantern parade in Pontypridd, which ended with us all gathering by the Evan James statue to sing a song he composed that became the national anthem for Wales – ‘Hen Wlad fy Nhadau’.

It was a wonderful experience – check out this video of the event:

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This year, I hope to be at Chapter Arts Centre with Susan and others from the workshop to perform our poems by candlelight.

Now the pressure is on to produce a decent poem!

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