Tree week-end.

Time to go thank the trees for their spectacular autumn displays.

Bath’s historic Sydney Gardens is looking forward to the programme of events lined up for this coming Saturday and Sunday’s ‘Tree Weekender’ celebrations.

It’s aimed at encouraging people to join a range of walks and creative sessions in the gardens and an online programme of activities and talks.

Sydney Gardens

I went down to the park – currently full of autumn colour – to find out more from Susan Palmer who is the Sydney Gardens Community Ranger.

She also had news on when the new children’s playground and reorganized public loos were going to open.

Here’s the details in written form:

The Tree Weekender will take place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November. All the events are free, but booking is essential because the on-the-ground activities will be run in small groups.

Councillor Jess David, cabinet assistant for Neighbourhood Services said: “The Tree Weekender is a great way to explore some of the garden’s hidden corners and uncover stories about the trees. There is a huge range of activities, so there is something for all. We will also be celebrating the success of the prose and poetry competition which received more than 80 entries. The winner of the competition will be announced at a celebratory finale on Sunday.”

The Tree Weekender programme features guided walks to suit all ages and interests: Arboreal Splendour in Bath follows a route from Royal Victoria Park to the gardens and is led by Paul Wood; Trees – What’s the point? will mark the launch of National Tree Week and is led by Lewis Morrison of the Tree Council and a Sydney Gardens Heritage Tree Walk will be led by Julian Hight.

Walks at a slower pace allowing you to practice Mindfulness with Trees with Huw Griffiths or a twilight-guided tree walk led by Richard White.

Sydney Gardens.

Family-friendly activities taking place in the gardens include Capture-Create, a photo collage activity for age 13+; Nature Play with Foxglove Forest School for under 8s and Sgrafitto in the Gardener’s Lodge.

There are online talks on Ancient Trees: Living wonders and Arboreal ecosystems, and The Great Ginkgo: The Maidenhair tree and human health, as well as a meditation with trees.

Online attendees can join a creative writing workshop or a drawing class (14+), take part in a conversation circle about strengthening our connections in nature, or quiz an expert panel on what tree to plant where.

The Sydney Gardens Tree Weekender writing competition on the theme of trees in parks and public gardens received dozens of entries. The judge’s longlist can be viewed on the website:

Shortlisted authors will join a nature writing online roundtable on Saturday 27 November and will have the opportunity to read their work during the finale of the event on Sunday 28 November.

The winners in both the poetry and prose categories will be announced at the finale, together with the best poem and story submitted by a BNES resident. Master of ceremonies at the finale will be Caleb Parkin, the current Bristol City Poet.

The Sydney Gardens Tree Weekender writing competition is run by Rethinking Cities Ltd / Museum of Walking on behalf Bath & North East Somerset Council.

The full Tree Weekender programme can be viewed online

Booking for the events opens on Thursday 14 November.

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