We say in the FAQ below, that haiku is for all weathers, bar the most extreme, but it looks like that situation is upon us. The river Avon here is absolutely glorious, still plenty of water (although lower than usual) with the greenery on and around it looking as if it is unaware of the heatwave. However, having had a "dummy run" this week, during which we found ourselves desperately planning a shaded route back to CotP HQ, we realise that it is simply forecast to be too hot on Saturday, at 32/90 degrees, to be safely walking out for any length of time. Therefore, we are unfortunately cancelling this event. Thank you for your interest, and we hope to see you another time!

An Avon Ginko

a walking, watching, writing, short poetry workshop!


A “ginko” is a traditional activity in Japan, and is the term for going on a walk, in a group, specifically to write poetry.


Come and write short poems with us, on a walk along the Chippenham Avon and its environs. There’ll be plenty of time to stop, stare, and take notes along a maximum of 2.5 miles distance. We’ll then sit down outside (under outside cover according to weather) to finish three-line Japanese-style “haiku”, or other short poems. A hot or cold drink will be included in the ticket price. At all points there will be plenty of one-to-one guidance,  from published poets and experienced tutors Alan Summers and Karen Hoy of Call of the Page.


Seasons are important in Japanese poetry. We will be leading a summer, autumn, winter, and spring walking writing workshop. You can book for the first one, a summer ginko, below. Anticipate dragonflies, swans, lily pads, and willow trees.


Date:          Saturday August 13th 2022 (Now cancelled due to forecasted extreme heat conditions on Saturday.)


Time:         10 am to 1 pm


We start and end at Chippenham Town Bridge (less than 5 minutes walk from Chippenham station, and car parks). The bridge postcode is SN15 1EX.



Maximum group size: 10


Tickets: £38 full price, including a hot or cold drink. An early bird rate of £34 applies until Sunday 7th August 2022.


Bursaries: We have a free bursary place and a half-price place on each ginko. Please contact us for details of qualifying for these. As well as affordability and income level we take into consideration social benefit, for instance if you are bereaved, or are requiring "social prescribing". 


Covid Considerations: Please see the section under FAQs below. 


Questions?: Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this event. Thank you!



By booking you agree to accept our Terms and Conditions, as well as the special precautions and refunds for Covid-19 detailed further down this booking page. Your data is used only as described in the Terms and Conditions. Thank you!


EVENT CANCELLED DUE TO EXTREME WEATHER. Thank you for your interest.


What about the weather? We will cancel the sessions only for very extreme weather, as haiku is not for sunny days alone! Please come dressed appropriately for the season of the ginko you are attending. We will stop for one hot or cold drink, but feel free to bring an extra flask of your own if it is very cold!


Will we be out in the countryside proper? There will be moments when you will be able to turn 360 degrees and not see any roads or houses, but as we will be surprisingly close to Chippenham centre, there are often houses in the mid or far distance. There's an incredible and distinctive contrast between the lushness and wildlife of the river, and elements of the town nearby, which we think gives this section of the Avon a very particular identity.


Are you wildlife experts? We are enthusiasts more than experts, but we know many bird, insect, flower and tree species to expect along the way. One of the joys of these groups is sharing knowledge and learning from each other.


What facilities are in Chippenham for before and/or after the event? Chippenham has a functioning high street, and around the town bridge there are cafés and bars, and pubs close by. We have a Greggs, and a Boots the Chemist. We also have a wonderful selection of second hand shops should you like to browse! There's an especially good book section in the Dorothy House Hospice shop just down from the bridge past The Rivo Lounge.


Covid Considerations

Especially for vulnerable people, we know that the pandemic is far from over, with incredibly infectious variants now in circulation. We also know first-hand how disruptive catching Covid can be to small businesses, and that many people cannot afford to be anything less than healthy. This is planned to be an entirely outdoor event, and if it is a large class, we will spread into two groups to avoid bunching. The tutors will be taking tests before the event, and we always carry masks with us in case of unexpected busy areas. Please contact us if you are feeling especially vulnerable, and we can talk through whether the event is suitable for you.


Obviously, please do not attend the event if you have symptoms of any Coronavirus-type illness. If you have recently had Coronavirus please make sure you test negative for two full days. If anyone who you live or visit with currently has coronavirus, or if you cannot attend because of the illness yourself, a full refund will be given. Thank you for your consideration. We know that many people are not yet attending indoor events and are missing out socially, and so we are keen that people joining this outdoor event should be as safe as possible. 

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