Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

Dream of a Field Cricket

 

It was one of those typically warm and lazy evenings in June when a small collection of people set out from the Rural Life Centre near Farnham, across the heathland, with paper and pens in hand…

This was part one of an evening entirely dedicated to the very rare Field Cricket – a small invertebrate that can be found nestled within burrows in the warm earth of Farnham. We wanted to celebrate this incredible creature through music and poetry and so Back from the Brink, in partnership with the incredibly talented Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Mihailo Trandafilovski and Laurence Rose – created an evening to remember.

The first stage of the evening was to set out across the landscape, led by writer Laurence Rose, as we explored the habitat and all of its idiosyncrasies and quirks - through poetry. Our small band wandered along paths lined with pebbles, the ground beneath our feet sandy and light, boarders of tiny lichens and small burrows from an array of creatures.
We would often pause at certain spots whilst Laurence indicated to us a certain aspect of the Field Crickets habitat, but using our senses entirely… The smells of the earth and the sun and the plants; the sounds of the late afternoon.

We were all so inspired and beautiful lines started to form from people, some of whom had never even written poetry before. It was a wonderful way to really immerse ourselves in the landscape of the Field Cricket and also just to meet the like-minded people who had come to celebrate this insect too.

The second part of the evening was a picnic, a bring your own of sorts, in the grounds of the Rural Life Centre.
We sat around and chatted – sharing food with others and talking about our creative walk whilst also sharing our excitement for the evening to come – a night of music and words!

The last part of the event was a wonderfully intimate concert – sheltered in an old barn with fairy lights above us and the packed earth beneath our feet. Everyone gathered together and listened in as our two incredible violinists played to us what they had created when on their own Field Cricket journey.

They described how they had recorded the Field Cricket and then slowed it down 500 times so as to listen to the complexities and layers that this tiny creature produces through sound. To then hear this played through the violin was quite extraordinary and I can honestly say that I’ve never heard anything like it.

Interspersed with beautiful readings, not only from the writer Laurence Rose himself, but from Gilbert White, John Clare and members of the public who had come along that day. It truly was a community celebrating something so near and dear to them – a cricket that is so rare and on the edge of survival.

To listen to the evening, take a look at the audios below. Pop your feet up and be carried away to the heathlands…

Audio 1 - Dream of the Field Cricket 1 June 2019 4 Rose, Sheppard Skaerved, Tellemann[audio

Audio 2 - Dream of the Field Cricket 1 June 2019 3 Trandafilovski, Clare

Audio 3 - Dream of the Field Cricket 1 June 2019 2 Bartok, Keats, Coates, Scelsi

Audio 4 - Dream of the Field Cricket 1 June 2019 1 Tellemann and Gilbert White

That evening will always stay with me. It was magical. We can only hope that those members of the local community who came along, were touched in some small way and felt a connection with the Field Cricket that had not been there before. The plight of this small insect is one that is so moving that I can only hope and pray that the work Back from the Brink is doing through the Field Cricket project will in some way – no matter how big or small – change the fortunes of this amazing species.

If you’d like to find out more about the project – go here.

If you’d like to know more about the cricket itself and its history – why not read our other blogs, here.

If you’d love to come along to our next concert – then keep an eye on the Back from the Brink website and our social media for updates - @naturebftb.

 

Emma Burt, Community & Outreach Officer

Back from the Brink

 

Would you like to help these incredible species? There are numerous ways in which you can:

  • Why not volunteer for Back from the Brink? Check out our events page for opportunities near you.
  • Help us to spread the word of this species, and the others we will be helping over the next 3 years, by sharing our message across our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube pages. Follow us: @naturebftb.
  • Finally - help support the work we do across England by donating. Our impact will be greater with your help.

 

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