Saturday, December 2, 2023

An Ode To Bullsmoor: The Bullsmoor Song Project

On midsummer evening I took a walk over Bullsmoor and it struck me again, as I looked down on the four oak trees, how its future hangs in the balance.

I haven’t written in the Bullsmoor blog for a while as Bullsmoor still sits in limbo while we wait for the decision from the Secretary of State, and my writing seems to be in limbo too. No amount of handy tips from WordPress about writers block seem to help with this. It may not be until the Autumn (on or before the 11th October, according to the planning inspectorate) when we hear what’s happening about the planning applications.

I still walk there most days and on midsummer’s evening a new called ‘The Sun Goes Down on Bullsmoor’ came to me while I watched the sun go down.

The songs ends with my wish for Bullsmoor to remain undeveloped:

May the long-time sun shine upon this land,

May love surround all life that stands,

May it be held in understanding hands,

May the sun never go down,

On the Lands of Bullsmoor.

Last year I wrote the ‘Bullsmoor Lament’ when I first heard about the planning applications and had a letter put through my door from a company wanting to buy my house to create an access route. I sang Bullsmoor Lament at the Protect Belper march last year.

There are more songs brewing and I’d like to eventually write an album. Like with the Bullsmoor blog, I hope to collect stories about people’s memories and experiences of Bullsmoor and use these to inspire the songs along with the many stories from history that I’ve picked up from historians, walk guides and archaeologists.

I’d like to think that there are local stories about people’s lives, maybe from many years ago, that could be collected to add to Belper’s social heritage. People talk a lot about World Heritage and historic buildings, but I think there is also great value in the personal stories of ordinary people.

If I can get this project going I imagine involving other artists and musicians to create a celebration of Bullsmoor, which I believe needs celebrating regardless of the planning decision.

My first solo album comes out in October, the same month we get to hear about Bullsmoor. To hear a preview of some songs from this album then follow the link here. If I get enough funds for the album any remaining crowdfunding will go towards creating the Bullsmoor Song Project.

If anyone is interested in telling me their stories of Bullsmoor or in getting involved in a joint project in the future then please get in touch at

Further information about Bullsmoor and other local issues can be found the Protect Belper Facebook group.

By Sara Hinds

Claire Meese


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