CLICTIVISM. Haterade. Fitspiration. Bronde. Each year, the makers of the Oxford English Dictionary listen in to the nation’s conversations to decide which new words should make it into the latest edition of the world-famous A-Z.

This is the cutting edge of etymology – the study of the history of words, and how language adapts to reflect the changing world.

The fact that adding in a questionable new coinage gives your new book out a bit of publicity is, I’m sure, neither here nor there.

But compiling dictionaries isn’t just about adding new words in, it’s also about taking out ones that are no longer in use.

Two years ago, the Oxford Junior Dictionary made the controversial decision to take out a number of words they felt were no longer relevant to a modern childhood and replaced them with ones that were. Out went the likes of acorn, adder, bluebell, buttercup, conker, cowslip, heron and kingfisher. In their place came attachment, cut and paste, broadband and chatroom.

Is a modern childhood really just about being sat indoors in front of a computer or a tablet or a smartphone?

It would be a shame if that were true, especially given the gorgeous corner of the country we are lucky enough to live in – from our crystal-clear chalk streams rippling with trout to the rugged beauty of the nearby New Forest ponies, the great bustards on Salisbury Plain to the bluebells of Grovely Wood.

But you don’t even have to leave the city to experience the wonders of nature: the only time I’ve ever had the thrill of seeing a flash of kingfisher blue has been down by the Old Mill in Harnham.

Now two Salisbury-based organisations are doing their bit to inspire young minds into exploring the natural world.

Becky Twigg of the Secret Garden ( is currently in the process of setting up her Bee City project, including a 3D trail around the city to inform people about some of the 260 species of bees that live in the UK – and green up the grey city walls to make them more bee friendly.

The conservation charity Plantlife ( has just launched its Great British Wildflower Hunt to help people get to know their wildflowers – and to help the charity learn what flowers can be found and where. Their website includes natty spotters’ guides for both town and country, complete with a points system, reminiscent of the old I-Spy books (one point for a bramble, two for a Herb Robert).

Both schemes are brilliant ways of engaging children – not to mention giving the odd grown-up a reminder about the richness of nature that can be found on our doorstep.