Meet your hosts Martin and Sarah who will welcome you into the talking tent and are eager to hear and share your stories and memories.
Martin Maudsley is a professional storyteller based in Bridport, performing a wide repertoire of traditional tales from local legends to earthy folk-tales and magical myths.
He is storyteller-in-residence for pioneering environmental arts charity Common Ground and has been collaborating with Stepping in Nature for the last two years running storytelling workshops to connect participants with nature, the seasons and a sense of place. He has particular passion for using storytelling to help people connect with local landscapes and has worked extensively within the Dorset AONB, including a long term myths and legends project on the South Dorset Ridgeway. He is also leading a schools-based environmental education project for the AONB called ‘The Council of All Beings’.
Martin is actively engaged with celebrating the seasons in and around his local neighbourhood, including Mummers Plays, Apple Days and Winter Wassails. He loves telling tales and singing songs about apple trees and orchards, as well as (occasionally) drinking a glass of cider in the place where it’s made! He has a created number of storytelling shows based on oral history and local folklore and is currently working on a new performance to celebrate 30 years of national Apple Day based on conversations with Dorset orchard owners and cider makers.
You can read some of Martin’s stories on our Myths and Legends project page
Update Dec 2022: Martin has a new book out!
‘Telling the Seasons’ takes us on a journey through the twelve months of the year with stories, customs and celebrations. Drawing on the changing patterns of nature and the rich tapestry of folklore from the British Isles, it is a colourful guide into how and why we continue to celebrate the seasons. Find out more on The History Press website
Sarah Acton is a professional poet, writer and creative facilitator working across East Devon and Dorset to help local organisations, schools, museums and the Jurassic Coast (UNESCO) World Heritage Site (where she is poet-in-residence), connect creativity to nature.
Sarah takes inspiration from local landscapes, seasons and wildlife on our doorstep, to offer site responsive public engagement projects and interventions that bring people together and make creativity and nature connection an essential and fun way to encourage health and wellbeing.
Sarah is passionate about poetry and creative writing as a way of exploring and celebrating how we move through the world inside and out, “I know it is true for me, that opening up conversations and activities that nurture and encourage gratitude and connection to the land and natural environment through story and poetry, and paying attention outdoors to seasons and shifts, really changes the way I think about and experience different places, creates a sense of emotional belonging, and taps into a rich source of inspiration for creativity and discovery.”
Sarah is currently working on a writing residency project with Portland Museum to produce a community play, Heart of Stone, and runs WildWriting! courses in Dorset Libraries through Stepping into Nature.
The Myths & Legends project is a collaborative project creating and sharing stories inspired by the landscapes of the South Dorset Ridgeway. Local storyteller Martin Maudsley worked with 180 school children from six schools to create this imaginative and fun series of Ridgeway myths and legends.