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Lubrizol’s kind donation helps preserve the verse in Belper’s Poet-Tree Trail

Lubrizol’s kind donation helps preserve the verse in Belper’s Poet-Tree Trail

Twenty-one poems written to help Belper residents overcome the mental challenges of the lockdown have been immortalised on wooden tablets and placed around the town thanks to a local firm’s generosity. 

The verses, which include a tribute to Belper, a poem about the rain and another called Humility, have been given pride of place under the branches of a series of trees around the town as part of this year’s Belper Fringe Festival, helped by a grant of £500 from Hazelwood firm Lubrizol. 

The event, which is called the Poet-Tree Trail, has been organised by local poet Carol Brewer, and features a total of 100 poems written by residents and pupils at local schools. 

Lubrizol’s donation has allowed the longer poems to be laser-engraved onto pieces of wood with the rest printed off and sealed inside water-tight laminate, with visitors encouraged to track them down and read them all. 

The organisers chose 21 poems to mark 2021 and one word on each of the plaques has been printed in bold, with visitors encouraged to write down each one and enter the complete list into a prize draw. 

The Poet-Tree Trail was officially launched on Monday (June 28), adding to a busy year for Carol, who has also produced a book of poetry to commemorate the Belper Moo, a phenomenon which saw residents of the town step onto their doorsteps during last year’s lockdown and moo into the air in order to raise their spirits. 

Paul Terry, organiser of the Belper Fringe Festival, said:

“We’re really grateful to Lubrizol for helping us to fund the Poet-Tree Trail and enabling us to get the 21 main poems engraved into wooden panels, which will help us to minimise the amount of plastic that we use for the event. 

“The COVID restrictions mean that there are still so many things that we aren’t able to do, but we hope that the Poet-Tree Trail will get residents and visitors out and about and finding out what Belper has to offer.” 

Claire Hollingshurst, quality systems manager at Lubrizol, said:

“Our company has been a part of the Belper community for more than 70 years and we are always happy to support local events, especially when it comes to projects designed to promote good mental health. 

“Many of our staff have been supporting the Fringe festival’s activities this year and so we had no hesitation when Paul contacted us asking for a financial contribution. 

“We’re delighted to see that the money has been spent to create wooden panels rather than laminating the poems. Not only does it reflect our company’s sustainability targets, it’s a wonderful way to ensure that the poems continue to entertain others once the Poet-Tree Trail is over.” 

All of the poems featured in the Poet-Tree Trail will also be included in a booklet which will be published later in the year by Belper community arts charity Fleet Arts. 

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