Residents from across Bath and North East Somerset are being urged to get involved in this month’s Festival of Nature, the UK’s largest free celebration of the natural world.
As a core festival partner Bath & North East Somerset Council is leading an exciting new look programme of activities to help people discover new ways to connect with nature this summer.
Launching on Saturday 5 June, World Environment Day, this year’s event centres on ‘Nature’s Voices’, celebrating and honouring how nature has supported us through the pandemic and the ways we can work together with nature to support our collective recoveries.
Councillor David Wood, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services said: “Many of us relied on nature to tide us through lockdowns over the past year, using our daily exercise to spend time outdoors. Although we are returning to a more normal way of life, it’s important we continue to connect with nature for both our mental and physical wellbeing.
The Festival of Nature is the perfect opportunity to find new ways to engage with and spend time in nature and the family and adult friendly activities and events are all completely free. “
Savita Willmott, Director of The Natural History Consortium which has produced the event since 2003, added: “We’ve seen just how important nature, outdoor spaces and parks are during lockdown. We’ve designed this year’s programme to be Covid-19 safe, and accessible to help everyone in Bath, Bristol and beyond connect with nature, visit more places and discover their own power for change as we take action for nature together.”
The Festival is well known for organising large events in central Bath and Bristol, but rather than cancel in 2020 and 2021, the charity behind the event has embraced new ways of connecting with communities remotely through an interactive programme of audio, video and digital content.
Through the Bathscape, Sydney Gardens, and Somer Valley Rediscovered Projects, Parks and others, Bath & North East Somerset Council will be leading activity as one of the core Festival of Nature partners including:
- 10.30am & 2pm Saturday 5 June – Bathscape walks – Urban Tree Walk
- 3pm Saturday 5 June – Exploring Sydney Gardens and the Somer Valley Film with Miriam Woolnough
- 10am Monday 7 June – Let’s get buzzing podcast with Paul Pearce, team leader Parks & Trees
- 7pm Friday 11 June – Interview with Councillor Jess David, member advocate for biodiversity as part of the ‘Demand More’ podcast, which explores how to work with elected members to improve your local environment.
From Saturday 5 June – Saturday 12 June festival participants can also look forward to:
- Interactive live activities including make-alongs, quizzes and workshops. From foraged food recipes and tips for wellbeing on a budget, to zoom calling a giraffe and family wildlife quizzes. You can even get a little creative with our queer poetry workshop and designing your own beetle collage. There is a huge range of free activities on offer.
- A range of brand-new audio content, including interviews with well-known nature experts and presenters, podcast trails in favourite places, and live streamed audio. Grab your headphones and have a listen.
- ‘Show and Tell’ nature, a special ‘hybrid’ set of events that you can join in from home including discovering foragable foods in your ‘Edible Neighbourhood’, learning how to recycle household materials into planters for home growing and exploring how many of our everyday objects copy from nature around us. All supported by the UWE Bristol Community Outreach Fund.
- In My Nature social photo gallery – What does nature mean to you? A picture paints a thousand words and we’d love to see your snaps of you “in your nature”. Help others find new ways to connect by tagging #inmynature on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
- Professional conference – The UK’s national conference for environmental communicators, “Communicate” joins the Festival of Nature to explore how cities across the UK are responding to the ecological and climate crisis.
- Everyday actions hub – A whole range of downloadable activities, materials, videos and links to help you connect with nature in your neighbourhood and discover how your everyday actions can help with nature’s recovery.
For more information visit: https://www.bathscape.co.uk/events/)
You will find the Festival of Nature content across your favourite social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Youtube and Facebook by following the hashtag #FestofNature21.
Or you can visit the online hub to find links to the full range of content as it drops: www.festivalofnature.org.uk