Timber Festival, now in its second year, is an incredible weekend festival which encourages audiences to re-examine their relationship with the natural world. The festival is set in the heart of the National Forest, the first forest to be created at scale in the past 1000 years and the boldest environmentally-led regeneration project in the country.
Organisers have today announced that this year’s programme will include appearances from those at the forefront of climate action across the globe, including Extinction Rebellion, ambassadors from Action for Conservation and youth activists campaigning for a better world for the next generation.
Leading environmental action campaigners Extinction Rebellion join the Timber Festival line-up with a climate change talk (Field Notes, Friday 5 July, 5pm). Climate speakers from Extinction Rebellion will share the latest climate science on where our planet is heading, discuss some of the current psychology around climate change, and offer solutions through the study of social movements.
Since Greta Thunberg began campaigning for climate change action outside the Swedish parliament building in 2018, there has been a rise in climate activism from young people all over the world. Are we finally starting to listen to the voices of the next generation, or can youth activism really make a difference? The Ecologist’s Elizabeth Wainwright will chair Future Activists, a fascinating discussion with some of the young people involved in today’s fight against climate change including 13-year-old Action for Conservation ambassador Esther Bird (Field Notes, Sunday 6 July, 2pm).
As well as debates from prominent campaigners, Timber Festival is encouraging audiences to develop their relationship with trees and wildlife through a range of hands-on workshops, talks and performances. Highlights include workshops from The University of Cumbria’s National School of Forestry on how to monitor the health of trees (Sat and Sun, 10.30 and 3.30pm) and how to track wildlife (Sat and Sun, 11.30am and 4.30pm). Members of the National Forest Company’s Forestry Team will lead tree identification masterclasses (Fri 4.30pm, Sat and Sun 1.30pm), whilst the Met Office’s woodland weather station teaches visitors about the role trees play in our climate.
Wildlife-focussed sessions include a lively panel discussion with the International Union for Conservation of Nature on the sometimes-controversial topic of rewilding, which involves re-introducing native species back into their natural habitats (Sun, 12pm). Festivalgoers can also visit the biggest moth trap in the world to help Leicestershire Moth Recorder Adrian Russell to identify moth species (The Moth Hotel, all day every day), and pay a visit to one of the Bee Farmer’s 100 National Forest bee colonies (Fri 5.30pm, Sat and Sun 11.30am and 4.30pm).
Timber Festival is a collaboration between the National Forest Company and award-winning arts organisation Wild Rumpus, who specialise in showcasing arts and culture in the natural environment.
Sarah Bird and Rowan Hoban, Directors of Wild Rumpus, said:
‘Timber Festival is all about encouraging and challenging people to think more consciously about the environment. Climate action is at the forefront of current affairs today, so we had to include talks and debates from Extinction Rebellion and the young people striking in schools across the country. The series of workshops we have planned will also give audiences a chance to learn something new which they can apply to their daily lives. We hope that audiences will leave Timber feeling inspired that they can do their bit to tackle climate change.’
John Everitt, Chief Executive of the National Forest Company, said:
‘Timber Festival is a microcosm of what we are trying to do across the whole of the National Forest to promote sustainable living in the face of a changing climate. This is a place where we are planting trees to transform the environment, the economy and peoples’ lives. If you want to take action, find out more and have a great time, then come along to Timber and be part of something positive.’
Timber Festival takes places from 5 – 7 July at Feanedock in the National Forest. For more information visit: https://timberfestival.org.uk/