The UK's biggest celebration of the natural world, Festival of Nature features two free weekends of activity in Bath and Bristol, and a range of special ticketed events. This year it's the festival's 15th birthday, and the lineup events is looking better than ever! Check out our favourites below.
After nearly losing his 65’ wooden schooner boat in a large Alaskan tide, writer, sailor, and surfer Jonathan White vowed to understand the tide. He knew the moon had something to do with it, but what exactly? He read a book, then two. Ten years later, he had read three hundred books and criss-crossed the seven seas to see the largest, fastest, scariest, and most amazing tides in the world. In China he confronted the Silver Dragon, a twenty-five foot tidal bore that races eighty miles up the Qiantang River; at London’s Royal Society, he dug into the earliest Western tide science, which preoccupied thinkers from Da Vinci to Galileo to Newton; and in the Arctic he followed an Inuit elder down a small hole through thick winter ice to gather fresh blue mussels in the cavities left by low tide.With photographs, stories, and short readings, Jonathan takes his audiences on an enthralling journey into the surprising and poetic workings of the tide.
Since 2005, the BAFTA award-winning Springwatch has been an enduring success on TV, web and social media, delighting audiences with its unique blend of realtime wildlife dramas, conservation stories and audience interaction, with its innovative ways for the audience to get involved. Peter Coates and Susie Painter from the University of Bristol have taken on the mammoth task of mining the past, and join us to share the very special history of what is now a national institution. Former Springwatch producers Tim Scoones and Stephen Moss share their behind-the-scenes view of their favourite moments, memories and wildlife stories, as the series enters its 14th year.
This fantastic event will explore the world of conservation technology via three distinct channels: gaming, big data and virtual reality. Zoologist Jules Howard will explore whether VR technology could really help us communicate conservation messages in new and inspiring ways, whilst Sarah Bladen will discuss the prospect of fighting illegal fishing with big data and artificial intelligence. Also present will be Danielle Connor of Pocket Pals – a new upcoming app that connects people with wildlife and the environment using their mobile phones. It's set to be a really interesting event offering new perspectives on the world of conservation – get your £5 ticket here.
Paul Williams and Colin Jackson have decades of experience of filming the natural world between them, both having enjoyed extensive stints filming as part of the BBC Natural History Unit. At this fantastic event, each will share some of the highlights of their careers. Paul will share some of his most memorable experiences and anecdotes from his 15 years of filming the natural world for the BBC. His most recent series Big Cats, which aired on BBC One in January, features 31 out of the 40 species – many appearing for the very first time on television. Colin will share highlights of his 20 years filming for the Natural History Unit. He has spent much of his filming time in Africa, having produced 4 series of Big Cat Week and the ambitions BBC One live event Big Cat Live in 2008. He’ll reveal the behind-the-scenes stories of how technology and determination brought the daily lives of lions, leopards and cheetahs to prime time BBC TV.
For the 15th annual Festival of Nature, The Good Wardrobe is curating a panel discussion exploring fashion and nature: how designers, brands, producers and everyone else involved in the supply chain can work with, not against nature. This exciting event will bring together fashion industry leaders to discuss innovative products, processes and business models, and how these can be married with traditional techniques to build a more ethical, environmentally-friendly industry. We’ll hear about challenges and opportunities, and we’ll find out what a more sustainable fashion future would look like. The audience will come away informed and inspired!