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Every school in Scotland gets book celebrating ‘magic’ of nature

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Every school in Scotland gets book celebrating 'magic' of nature
Jane Beaton has raised £25,000 to get a copy into every school in Scotland (Picture: Morris/Penguin Books)

A school bus driver has raised £25,000 to gift a book about British wildlife to every school in Scotland.

Jane Beaton, from Strathyre, Stirling, decided to raise the money after reading The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane.

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Her campaign aimed to put a copy in every single one of Scotland’s 2,681 schools, the Guardian reports

The book of poems was written as ‘spells’ for children to learn words about nature after they were removed from the Oxford Junior Dictionary in 2007.

They were replaced with computer-based words such as ‘chat room’ and ‘broadband’.

Every school in Scotland gets book celebrating 'magic' of nature
The book has been illustrated by Jackie Morris (Picture: Morris/Penguin Books)
Every school in Scotland gets book celebrating 'magic' of nature
The book was written after a number of natural words were omitted from the Oxford Junior Dictionary (Picture: Morris/Penguin Books)

The words are given life by Jackie Morris’ illustrations after it was revealed in a National Trust survey that only a third of primary school children could identify a magpie, but 90% could name a Dalek.

Ms Beaton said she thought the book was ‘magical’ when she first opened it, and said: ‘It’s just captured people in a way I haven’t seen before. People have a feeling of positivity to it.’

Only four months after being published, the book has already sold 75,000 copies and won two literary prizes, and there are plans to adapt it into a choral work by a children’s choir, an embroidered braille text.

The National Forest in Derbyshire wants to have celebrity readers whisper the words through the trees to help bring the poems to life.

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After successfully raising the money, one final challenge remains for Ms Beaton.

She has to deliver the books to every single school.

She said: ‘This book has so much potential to impact on people in different ways. I’m hoping all the kids in Scotland will have an engagement with nature through this. I firmly believe that being outdoors and connecting with nature helps people’s mental health.’

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