Surrounded as it is by fields, woods and wetlands, the sights and sounds of nature are very much part of Helpston life.
Tawny owls call from Royce Wood in the autumn, cuckoos in the spring. Swifts , house martins , and swallows, fly over the village in the summer. Foxes and muntjac deer wander the streets after dark. Snakes and newts are commonly reported from garden ponds.
This association with nature is reinforced by the connection with John Clare, one of England’s foremost poets of the natural world, who not only wrote about the individual species that he found around the village, but also about the changing face of the countryside as a result of enclosure and the construction of the railways.
Perhaps one reason for the increasing popularity of Clare’s poetry is that today’s community too faces considerable change and consequent pressure on the countryside as a result of urban growth and the changing face of farming.