Do you know your ‘feetings’ from your ‘fizmer’? Suffolk Wildlife Trust wants to hear your wild words
- Credit: Stephen Gedge
Next time you are having a ‘nuddle’ whilst walking in the Suffolk countryside, listen out for the ‘fizmer’ and make sure you don’t trip over your ‘honky-donks’.
These are just a few of the county’s wild words collected by the team at the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, which has put the call out for people to come forward with any colloquial, forgotten or local terms that describe our experiences amongst nature.
The initiative, called Words from the Marsh, is an attempt to record Suffolk and Broadland’s unique words for wildlife and landscapes, and is part of the Trust’s three-year project to create a 1,000acre reserve at Carlton Marshes.
Last year, The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded the Trust a £4.3million grant to purchase and restore a parcel of land neighbouring the current reserve. As well as supporting the construction of a new visitor centre, the funds have also enabled the Trust to organise a programme of cultural events, including writing and story-telling workshops for children and adults, and this current scheme.
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Wild learning officer at Carlton Marshes, Katy Runacres, said that getting people involved in the landscape’s heritage and culture was closely linked to caring for its ecology.
She said: “While the restoration of the marsh is vital – providing a refuge for wildlife and protecting this landscape for future generations – we also want to protect the culture that is as much a part of the landscape as the large skies and open waterways.”
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“We are hoping that everyone will want to get involved and help us record and celebrate the language of this land,” added Ms Runacres who said the words being sought might be local dialect, words that are no longer in use or terms used widely but only in the area.
Book of Words
Words already collected include ‘fizmer’ (the hiss of wind through reeds),’feetings’ (the tracks left by animals in snow), ‘nuddle’ (walking along with your head down) and honky-donks (shoes heavy with mud). The collected words will feature in an exhibition at the end of the project.
People can add their words and phrases by either emailing email@example.com or by entering them in the Book of Words from the Marsh, which will be available to view at Carlton Marshes’ pop-up café every weekend from April 6 to September 1.