The much loved former Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes, spent much of his later life living in Devon, and cared deeply for the natural world and the landscape he found there. Visitors to Stover Country Park near Bovey Tracey in Devon, can follow the Ted Hughes Poetry Trail, and enjoy some of his work in a setting created to benefit the wildlife that he loved, and worked to conserve. Along the two mile trail, specially designed posts display Hughes’ poems, each with a nature or wildlife theme. There is also a children’s trail, guaranteed to spark an interest in poetry. There are sixteen poetry posts and the walk takes about two hours, longer if like me, you’re on a photography walk as well! Some of the Ted Hughes poems around the trail are An Otter, A Cormorant, Nightjar, Trees, The Lake, The Kingfisher, The Thought-Fox, and Dragonfly. I didn’t see all sixteen, so I’ll have to go back! There are beautiful wood carvings, and the constant sound of woodland and water birds, with little rustlings and shufflings in the woods to keep you company. Ted Hughes found the countryside inspiring and his unique voice continues to inspire both adults and children. If you don’t know his work, I hope you will try to discover it, especially the poem ‘ The thought Fox’, you can hear him reading it on the poetryarchive.org this is what he said about it.
Long after I am gone, as long as a copy of the poem exists, every time anyone reads it the fox will get up somewhere out in the darkness and come walking towards them.