Walking With Poets is a Scottish Poetry Library, Royal Botanic Garden and Cove Park residency project in which four poets will take up month-long writing and walking residency at all four of Scotland’s Botanic Gardens in Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Benmore in Argyll, Dawyck in the Borders, Logan in Dumfries & Galloway and Cove Park, and today it has been announced that this project will receive an award of £24,000.

Robyn Marsack, Director of the Scottish Poetry Library, said:- “The Year of Natural Scotland encourages reflection on some large questions: How do people shape what’s natural? How do we learn to really look at what nature offers? Is nature a comfort or a challenge? Our project allows poets to consider these and many other aspects of nature in relation to Scotland’s wonderful Royal Botanic Gardens, bringing people and poets together to walk and talk, observe and write in four locations across Scotland. ‘By leaves we live’ is written on the Library’s threshold, and we’re delighted to have been given the opportunity to animate that thought.”

Fourteen projects offering opportunities to engage with natural surroundings in innovative and exciting ways, are to receive a share of more than £500,000, as part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013.

Supported by Creative Scotland and Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) the funding was announced today  on the eve of the world premiere of Infinite Scotland at Eden Court Theatre, Inverness – a multi-media production celebrating Scotland’s fascinating natural diversity and artistic life and featuring Blythe Duff and Kenny Taylor.

Taking place right across the country from an urban wetland park in the west to a remote stretch of land north of Aberdeen and the environment around Dunbar in the east that inspired the great conservationist John Muir, the fourteen extraordinary projects will bring together community groups, individual artists and the wider community in projects including: NVA’s new public artwork Island Drift, set to transform the islands in the southern reaches of Loch Lomond using bespoke lighting technologies to create a compelling series of photographic works (a collaboration between NVA, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park); writing and walking residencies at four of Scotland’s Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, Argyll, the Borders and Dumfries & Galloway (a collaboration between Walking With Poets, Scottish Poetry Library, Royal Botanic Garden and Cove Park); Dumfries and Galloway’s new International Environmental Arts Festival (a collaboration between Wide Open, Crichton Carbon Centre, Scottish Natural Heritage, Forestry Commission Scotland, Spring Fling and The Stove) and Dunbar’s North Light Arts’ Journeys: Walking a Line – a year-long site-specific project inspiring creative journeys and collaborations exploring the nature and potential of the environment through the act of walking, marking and recording; the seeding and sharing of ideas, exhibition, performance and participation.