The National Trust is taking its first steps into student publishing in collaboration with Falmouth University.

The conservation charity is partnering with the UK’s top creative university to bring out a book with writing and journalism students and Writer in Residence, Man Booker long listed author Wyl Menmuir. The book will be launched at the South West Outdoor Festival (SWOF) in September, and stocked in National Trust bookshops.

The project is the first time the National Trust has worked with a university in this way and chose Falmouth because of its interest in nature and the landscape as creative inspiration and its focus on getting students work experience to give them a head start in the jobs market.

Katie Bond, Publisher at the National Trust, said: “Falmouth University was the perfect partner as a hub of the creative arts with Wyl Menmuir, whose writing is very much inspired by nature, as the university’s current Writer in Residence.

“Great writing about nature and the outdoors encourages people’s love of and engagement with the natural world which is at the heart of what we do. We are delighted to be working with the English students and faculty staff at Falmouth on such an exciting publishing project.”

Dr Niamh Downing, Head of English and Writing at Falmouth University, said: “Our focus is very much on helping our students get great jobs after graduation and this experience of working with a well-known organisation such as the National Trust and a writer like Wyl to see a project through to market is a great opportunity for them.”

The project involves the delivery of a short manuscript by Wyl, which the students will bring to publication in collaboration with the National Trust, following the process from creation to marketing and sale.

Wyl Menmuir, whose debut novel The Many was short listed for the Man Booker literary prize, said: “As Falmouth’s Writer in Residence I’m delighted to be working with students on this innovative project. I’ll be heading to National Trust-protected landscape for my short story and can’t wait to start working.”

Pat Kinsella, director of SWOF, said: “The social and cultural activity of story telling goes back to cavemen sitting round a fire and telling tales of their experiences and challenges undertaken in the embrace of nature. We’re so looking forward to working with Wyl and the staff and students at Falmouth University as they write a new chapter in the SWOF story.”

The National Trust South West Outdoor Festival is 8-10 September at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset. Tickets on sale soon.

Wyl Menmuir’s lecture, Fiction and the Search for Truth, is at Falmouth University’s Penryn Campus on Wednesday 1 March. Tickets are free but booking is essential .

Katie Bond, Wyl Menmuir, Dr Niamh Downing (Credit: Falmouth University)