The Norfolk Festival of Nature partnership brings many of the top Norfolk wildlife organisations together in the heart of the city, with the launch of a Norfolk Festival of Nature Writing Book Club, a Saturday of nature walks starting at The Forum, and a Sunday of free children’s activities in The Forum’s Atrium – as well as Jess French from CBBCs. Hear Issy Tree in conversation with Patrick Barkham on Saturday evening at our Festival Debate, talking about her new book ‘Wilding’ about the rewilding of her Sussex estate. A panel of experts join the debate on the theme of ‘The Future of Nature’. Tickets for the book group, walks, festival debate and Jess French are available on Eventbrite at the links listed below.
FRIDAY 12 APRIL
7.45pm - 9pm | Free | The Gallery
Passionate about nature and contemporary literature? Then join the Norfolk Festival of Nature to read and discuss the most fresh and exciting new nature writing. At times urgent and polemical, at times personal and searching, at times playful and unconventional, nature writing is enjoying an extraordinary richness and popularity at the moment. The Book Club offers a friendly and open forum for discussion, focussed through a range of books that make us think in new ways about nature and our place in the world. All welcome.
Contact Jos Smith if you would like to join the Book Club mailing list - Jos.Smith@uea.ac.uk
SATURDAY 13 APRIL
11am - 4pm | Meet at The Forum
The Forum is the starting point for a selection of walks that take you into the nature of the city. Everything from photography to peregrines, the river and the trees, come and join one a bookable walks around the city.
TREE TRAIL 11am - 12pm | 12.30pm - 1.30pm | 2.30pm - 3.30pm | Free
Join John Fleetwood from the Woodland Trust and enjoy a one hour walking tree trail around a few of the notable trees in the centre of Norwich. Starting at The Forum, John guides you through the garden of St Peter Mancroft, around the Market and through part of the shopping area, eventually finishing at Chapelfield Gardens. Hear about the trees that so often go unnoticed as people go about their business in the city, learn why those particular trees are there, how old they are and how to work out their ages, as well as stories of their history in the city. Take away a free illustrated map at the end of the walk.
THE CATHEDRAL PEREGRINES 12pm - 1pm | 3pm - 4pm | Free
With Zoe Smith from the Hawk and Owl Trust. Take a gentle stroll down to the Cathedral and the Hawk and Owl Trust’s lookout spot in The Close. Here, join volunteers from the Trust to see a peregrine nest on the side of the cathedral spire where incubating eggs are being looked after by a peregrine pair. Hear the dramatic story of the Cathedral peregrines and witness their activities first hand.
WALKING WRITING WORKSHOP 2pm - 4pm | £5
Join UEA Lecturer Jos Smith for to explore how looking differently at urban nature, and writing differently about it, can produce surprising and exciting new work. Writing well about a place often comes from looking at a place in fresh and interesting ways. This might mean going against the flow, looking up when everyone is looking down, taking time to focus on tiny details amid the hustle and bustle of city life. This might also mean trying new ways of writing, thinking outside the box and experimenting with unconventional styles.
THE NATURE OF THE RIVER 2pm - 3.30pm | Free
With Simon Hooton from the Broads Authority. Starting at The Forum, this walk goes down to the river at Blackfriars Bridge/St George’s Street looking at how the river supports nature on our doorstep through wildlife tales and some wildlife spotting. For everyone six years and over.
6pm - 9.15pm | £12 | The Gallery
Sponsored by Water Resources East.
Join Norfolk Festival of Nature for an evening debate with some of the clearest voices on environmental issues today, to discuss the Future of Nature in the UK and beyond. Hear Isabella Tree, an award-winning travel writer, in conversation with Guardian writer and author Patrick Barkham, talking about her new book, 'Wilding', and what the rewilding movement could offer to farming and conservation. The British Archive for Contemporary Writing at the UEA present Roger Deakin’s archive, giving an insight into his writing and personal story. The evening finishes with an open debate, including Patrick, Isabella and three knowledgeable individuals who work in farming, conservation and water management locally: Pamela Abbott, Chief Executive of Norfolk Wildlife Trust; Henry Cator, Water Resources East, and Jake Fiennes, from the Holkham Estate in North Norfolk. Along with the audience, the panel discuss the future of nature – so look out for issues such as climate change, Brexit, rewilding and how Norfolk’s past can help support its future. Enjoy a wine reception and have your say as we open up this timely and important debate.
SUNDAY 14 APRIL
10am - 4pm | Free
The Norfolk Festival of Nature partnership brings many of the top Norfolk wildlife organisations together in the heart of the city, providing a day of free children’s activities in The Forum. Enjoy pond dipping, a live camera feed from the peregrines at Norwich Cathedral and get involved in planting seeds, or making your own bird feeder, plus there’s a city centre tree trail to follow – so come and immerse yourself in all things wild. Fun for all the family.
11am - 11.45am | £2
Join Jess French, vet, zoologist, conservationist and presenter of ‘Minibeast Adventure with Jess’ on CBeebies on a mission to SAVE THE PLANET. Did you know we buy around 20,000 plastic bottles every second? Where do they all go and what can we do to reduce plastic waste? Find out as Jess discusses her new book 'What a Waste' and shares some of her planet-saving top tips.