We are hosting an evening and a day of all things nature on 21st and 22nd April 2018. 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 and storytelling, a nature writers’ workshop for older teens & young adults, and talks from experts from around Norfolk on our nature: past, present and future.
We will also have the launch of a new nature book by awarding winning Norfolk naturalist, Mark Cocker, on the Saturday evening, and a panel-led debate for you to join in with on the role that nature writing has today, looking at what impact it can have alongside documentaries like Blue Planet and the social media campaigns of today.
UEA Earth Day Tree Trail
SustainableUEA will be celebrating Earth Day 2018 by launching the UEA Tree Trail. Join local experts for guided walks through the various habitats on campus, and learn more about key trees and their stories. UEA has over 5,700 species recorded across its 350-acre site, including rare dragonflies, wasps, bats and birds. Hear more about the green campus and River Yare, and keep an eye out for the resident grebes, kingfishers and otters! The walks are open to all, and activities are free of charge. The guided walks will run on the hour, from 11.00 to 14.00, and are recommended for ages 8+.
The Festival Debate: Fighting for Nature
On Saturday 21st April come and join us at the Forum for an evening with some of the UK’s best nature writers discussing The Fight for Nature: the role of conservation and nature writing in Britain today.
Mark Cocker, an award-winning Norfolk nature writer of long-standing, will be launching his new book, Our Place, and reflecting on the central role of Norfolk in the development of the British conservation movement during a live interview with Jean McNeil, a talented author herself.
The British Archive for Contemporary Writing at the UEA will also present Mark’s working archive, giving an insight into the field work and approaches that Mark takes in his writing.
The evening will be completed with an open debate, including Jean McNeil and other invited nature writers, Laurence Rose, Karen Lloyd and James Lowen, along with the audience, discussing the role of nature writing today – what is the relationship between nature writing and conservation practice, what does it offer over television documentaries like Blue Planet and social media campaigning, and how important is it to the way we view nature into the future? Enjoy a wine reception and have your say as we open up this timely and important debate.
Jean McNeil is the author of twelve books, including five novels and a collection of short fiction, a collection of poetry, a travel guide and literary essays. Her most recent novel, Fire on the Mountain, was published earlier this year by Legend Press. She is Reader in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.
Laurence Rose is a naturalist and conservationist whose work has ranged from creating urban greenspace to advocating global treaties. He has worked for the RSPB in roles as diverse as nature reserve management, international capacity building and community engagement. His book The Long Spring is published in March, and explores of the past, present and future of our connections to nature, as well as reflecting on his own long personal and professional relationship with wildlife.
Karen Lloyd lives on the edge of the English Lake District where she writes non-fiction and poetry focussing on the natural world and the environment. She is currently undertaking a PhD at Lancaster University, investigating abundance in nature.
James Lowen is a nature and travel writer whose nine books include A Summer of British Wildlife, which won Travel Guide Book of the Year, 2016. He regularly writes about wildlife and conservation for magazines such as BBC Wildlife, The Countryman and Bird Watching.
The Debate Chair will be Jos Smith. Jos is a poet and lecturer at UEA where he teaches, among other things, a module of ‘writing place’. Originally from Canterbury, he has also lived in Liverpool, Nottingham and Exeter before settling in Norwich. His essays and poetry have appeared in a range of UK journals, magazines, pamphlets, and anthologies and all explore the creative possibilities of our imaginative relationship with landscape and place. He is also the author of The New Nature Writing: Rethinking the Literature of Place’ and a fully paid up member of the Cloud Appreciation Society.
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 and storytelling, a nature writers’ workshop for older teens & young adults, and talks from experts from around Norfolk on our nature: past, present and future. There will be pond dipping, live camera feeds from the peregrines at Norwich Cathedral and NWT’s Cley reserve on the coast. You can take photos of yourself at our Broads selfie stand, make badges, collect stamps, follow the city centre tree trail and generally immerse yourself in all things wild!! Fun for all the family.
A Sunday of Talks
The Norfolk Festival of Nature brings you a Sunday of talks here at The Forum. Four personal accounts from individuals who are experts in their fields, who together cover some fascinating aspects of the past, present and future of the wildlife and countryside of Norfolk.
11am James Parry from Breckland Society will talk about the Edwardian naturalist and photographer, Emma Turner; 12.30pm David Waterhouse from Norfolk Museums’ Service will present on the pre-history of Norfolk, when mammoths and hippos roamed the County; 2pm Steve Rowland from the RSPB will give his gentle and humorous take on moving to, and discovering, the County with his family; and at 3.30pm David North, the Head of People and Wildlife at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, will round off the day with a talk and discussion on how much wildlife means to us today.
Sunday in the Library
Fun at the Children’s Millennium Library
For families and younger children there will be a storytelling trail in the library at 11.00 led by author in residence, Isabelle King. Isabelle will tell a story which takes everyone on an adventure through the ancient forests of Norfolk where they will meet lots of animals! Fun for all the family! At 14.00 there will be more stories from Isabelle and library staff and tables of crafts to get involved with.
Writing Workshop with UEA lecturer Jos Smith: Writing about Urban Nature
“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. Join Jos Smith to explore how looking differently at urban nature, and writing differently about it, can produce surprising and exciting new work.”
Jos Smith is a poet and lecturer at UEA where he teaches, among other things, a module of ‘writing place’. Originally from Canterbury, he has also lived in Liverpool, Nottingham and Exeter before settling in Norwich. His essays and poetry have appeared in a range of UK journals, magazines, pamphlets, and anthologies and all explore the creative possibilities of our imaginative relationship with landscape and place. He is also the author of The New Nature Writing: Rethinking the Literature of Place’ and a fully paid up member of the Cloud Appreciation Society.
A workshop for young adults (aged 16 to 25)
Sunday Talks in the Auditorium
The Lady of the Reeds: The Rediscovery of Norfolk’s Pioneering Bird Photographer Emma Turner
The Lady of the Reeds: The Rediscovery of Norfolk’s Pioneering Bird Photographer Emma Turner.
Emma Turner was a pioneering Edwardian photographer and author who spent many years studying the birdlife of the Norfolk Broads, most famously at Hickling, where she lived on a house boat in the middle of the broad. With the assistance of the local marshmen, she was able to capture compelling images of some of the area’s most elusive birds and was instrumental in the rediscovery of the Bittern as a British breeding species in 1911. One of the first ten women to be elected a Fellow of the Linnaean Society and awarded the Gold Medal of the Photographic Society, Turner’s legacy passed largely unnoticed until the chance rediscovery in recent years of correspondence and some of her original images, previously thought lost. Writer James Parry will give an engaging talk about Turner’s life and work and how she has re-emerged from the shadows.
Hippos are Native to Norfolk: The prehistory of Norfolk’s nature
Join Dr David Waterhouse (Senior Curator of Natural History for Norfolk Museums Service), and explore the world of unusual and exotic sounding animals that lived in the county not so very long ago. Including hippos in Happisburgh, monkeys in Mundesley and bears in Bacton.
Norfolk Museums Service has been involved in major discoveries which have transformed our knowledge of early British prehistory. From the West Runton Mammoth, to the earliest evidence of humans in northern Europe at Happisburgh – the archaeological and palaeontological importance of Norfolk’s coastline is astounding.
For more info and tickets: www.eventbrite.com/e/from-hippos-and-hyenas-the-prehistory-of-norfolks-nature-tickets-42863215030
From Islington to the Norfolk Broads: Wild Norfolk and Me
A look at how someone born and bred in north London moved to Norfolk over twenty years ago and never left. Steve will talk about how he ended up staying in Norfolk and share some of his and his young family’s favourite places and wildlife in a humorous and affectionate look at his adopted home county.
From catching crabs with his children and dawn quests for wild Geese, through to Norwich’s best kept natural history secret, Steve’s talk will give a personal view of Norfolk, sharing his favourite wildlife and places from around the county, and why they are so important.
Steve Rowland lives on the north Norfolk coast with his wife and two young sons, he has worked for the RSPB for nearly thirty years currently as Public Affairs Manager for Eastern England. Steve is a keen birder and wildlife photographer with, in no particular order, a fondness for travel, red wine, curry, swimming, other people's gardens and Arsenal football club.
For more info and tickets: www.eventbrite.com/e/from-islington-to-the-norfolk-broads-wild-norfolk-and-me-tickets-42863393564
Wildlife Matters: How much does our wildlife mean to us?
David North, Head of People and Wildlife at Norfolk Wildlife Trust, asks the questions – How much does wildlife really matter and can we do anything about the threats to it? David heads a team at Norfolk Wildlife Trust that is involved with education and conservation delivery across Norfolk including the delivery of Living Landscape programmes, formal and informal education programmes for schools, adults and communities across Norfolk.
For more info and tickets: www.eventbrite.com/e/wildlife-matters-how-much-does-our-wildlife-mean-to-us-tickets-42863460765
Sunday Tree Trails
Join our expert from the Woodland Trust, John Fleetwood, to enjoy a 1 hour walking tree trail around a few of the notable trees of the centre of Norwich. Starting just inside the doors of The Forum in the city centre, John will guide the group 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. The walk will take one hour and there will be illustrated maps to take away.
Please note that there are three walks during the day at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.