Have a wild weekend at the Festival of Nature 18-19 June
Press release issued: 17 June 2011
The Festival of Nature unleashes the city's wild side this weekend [18-19 June] when it returns to Bristol Harbourside. Visitors to the free Festival, which has just been awarded ‘Bristol Event of the Year’ in the 2011 Tourism and Hospitality Awards, will have the opportunity to explore, enjoy and get close to the natural world through a programme of talks, workshops, screenings and stalls from different exhibitors including the University of Bristol.
As part of the University’s involvement in the event, co-ordinated by the Centre for Public Engagement, staff and students will stage an array of exhibits exploring the world of animal territories, bees, tree roots, music created from the natural world, humans in the environment, and the Bristol Dinosaur. There will also be a series of talks given by academics from the University’s pioneering Cabot Institute to discuss ideas around living with environmental change.
Other highlights include:
- BBC 3D display -- Bristol's famous BBC Natural History Unit has a special display of their new 3D technology. See the next generation of wildlife films, and keep your eye out for some very special visitors!
- Free IMAX screenings -- 'Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World' takes you on a thrilling 50 feet high, 3D journey back in time to explore an amazing underwater universe inhabited by Sea Rex -- the T Rex of the seas.
- Talks programme -- Each year the Festival welcomes BBC presenters, wildlife experts and other well-known faces to the talk's tent. Speakers include Satish Kumar - author and presenter on 'Earth Pilgrim' -- part of the BBC's Natural World series; Brigit Strawbridge -- who featured in the BBC 2 series, 'It's Not Easy Being Green', will be talking about bees and what we can do to give them a helping hand, and author and creator of Downshifting week, Tracey Smith will share practical ideas and tips about living with less. Simon Watt -- presenter on Channel 4's 'Inside Natures Giants' will be speaking about the show; Doug Allen, a BAFTA award-winning wildlife cameraman will be sharing his experiences working on Human Planet's Arctic team, and the BBC's Chadden Hunter will be talking about the adventures and challenges working on the epic new Frozen Planet series. Visitors will also be able to Join University of Bristol researchers from the Cabot Institute to discuss ideas around our use of water resources, local economics, environmental social inequality and the impact of natural disasters on aviation.
- Contemporary Sustainable Living Show -- Straight from Olympia in London, the first show of its kind in the South West. In partnership with UK Aware and Forum for the Future, the Sustainable Living Zone showcases technologies from across the South West with inspiration for your home and garden.
- Wildlife Bee Garden -- The Amphitheatre will become home to an extraordinary wildlife garden. Build bee nest boxes, plant seeds and buy plants.
- Free Storytelling with popular performer Michael Loader -- Traditional Tales and Spontaneous Stories festooned with an abundance of animals, plus plenty of playful audience involvement.
- Bristol Zoo -- Spot your first gorilla down on Millennium Square! Celebrating its 175th anniversary the Zoo tent has one of the large gorilla sculptures that will be on the streets of Bristol this summer. Find out what you can do to help save gorillas across the world, and get your first picture with a soon-to-be-famous Bristol icon.
- The Green Forum -- Bristol's green grassroots community. For the 9th year, now supported by Bristol Water, find over 50 grassroots organisations across the festival site and in the Green Forum tent. Join a group, make a pledge, find a hobby.
- Food market -- Do your Saturday shop, and make a difference. The Festival's food market is a bustling and colourful place, with local produce and hot food from sustainable traders from across the South West.
- Eco-sculptures by Barry Lewis - Barry uses his talent for using reclaimed metal parts and cutlery to create wild creatures, including a giant rhino and elephant, which will be on show in the Amphitheatre.
- At-Bristol Live Lab -- Hook yourself up to a machine that shows your heart beat and muscle impulses, or look super-close-up on your skin, hair, eyes and ears with high magnification cameras.
- Free puppet shows with the Woodenfingers Theatre Company.
Savita Custead, Director of the Bristol Natural History Consortium, who organises the Festival said: "Bristol is the wildlife capital of the UK and the Festival of Nature a much loved date in its summer diary. We're thrilled to named Bristol's Best Event in the recent Tourism Awards, and will be pulling out all the stops to make sure that this is the best Festival yet!
“The Festival is bigger and better than ever -- with lots of free hands-on fun for kids of all ages. You can even pick the brains of our friendly wildlife experts and spot some natural celebrities."
The Bristol Festival of Nature is run by the Bristol Natural History Consortium, a collaboration between the following organisations: Avon Wildlife Trust, BBC Natural History Unit, Bristol City Council, Bristol Zoo Gardens, Defra, Environment Agency, Natural England, University of Bristol, University of the West of England, Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and Wildscreen Trust. More information is available on the Festival of Nature website.