A North Tyneside based author/illustrator has been hand-picked to deliver a series of nature-inspired workshops for Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, thanks in part to the North Tyneside Business Factory.

Abbey Scott, from Whitley Bay created What the Oak Tree Sees as the first in the Hiddel Brock Wood series of children’s books designed to bring the wonders of nature to life.  The book is inspired by the small ancient Northumberland woodland which both Abbey and her partner and co-author, Richard, purchased in 2019.

Abbey received assistance from the North Tyneside Business Factory, supported by the European Regional Development Fund, to build her new business.  After finding information about the Hiddel Brock Wood series on the Business Factory website (← click to read the original story), Seven Stories reached out to Abbey as part of the Centre’s commitment to partner with local authors and create a new programme of nature-inspired workshops.

The workshops have been a resounding success and a new programme of events is currently being planned.  Abbey will also be partnering with the team at Seven Stories to help evolve their nature-inspired gallery.  An opportunity rarely afforded to independent authors, Seven Stories work to champion local authors to help them find an audience and profile amongst their own community.

Abbey Scott comments: “I am so thankful to Seven Stories for taking the time to provide opportunities for local authors, particularly those that are independent of the larger publishing houses.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Seven Stories community and I’m really excited to be continuing to partner with the team on new and exciting workshops designed to champion the many joys of nature to young children this Spring and Summer.”

Abbey launched the first Hiddel Brock Wood book, What the Oak Tree Sees, in 2021.  The book was written after purchasing an area of ancient woodland that after many years of neglect, needed stewardship to help protect the delicate balance of plant life and wildlife.  As conservator of the land, Abbey has spent a great deal of time in the woodland, learning with her family how to protect and enjoy nature.

Abbey continues: “The first book in the Hiddel Brock wood series was directly inspired by the woodland as readers are led by an old oak tree to follow animal tracks and discover what animals do when people are not around.  What the Oak Tree Sees was written with a view to creating a book which helps children learn about and connect with nature whilst subtly reinforcing the importance of respecting the natural environment something Seven Stories are really keen to promote further to their young readers.”

As well as launching her new book, The Tree That Held The Moon, in Spring 2022, Abbey continues to deliver a series of storytelling events and workshops throughout the region at schools and outdoors venues.

Wendy Elliott, Interim CEO at Seven Stories said: “We are thoroughly enjoying working with Abbey and seeing how her stories and workshops are resonating with local children. It is central to our strategy to engage with local authors and illustrators to build their profiles but also to inspire the next generation of story makers in our area.”

Abbey initially worked with the team at the North Tyneside Business Factory, the business support programme from North Tyneside Council which is supported by the ERDF and delivered by TEDCO Business Support.  Thanks to help and guidance from her personal business advisor, Paul Brown, Abbey was able to access a range of business start-up support, including one-to-one consultancy, workshops and mentoring with her personal advisor.

The book and resources are available for purchase at  hiddelbrock.co.uk/shop or for more information on author visits and education workshops please get in touch on hiddelbrockwood@gmail.com

For more information on the services available through the North Tyneside Business Factory, please contact (0191) 605 3110 or visit www.businessfactorynt.co.uk

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