Organisations and individuals across Shropshire come together in July and August for a nature festival that celebrates all that is green across the county.
The Shropshire Love Nature Festival runs from July 23 to August 21 in a month packed with events exploring the county’s natural environment and raising awareness of how people can help protect its rich natural heritage.
The four weeks of events, run as a collaboration between organisations and individuals, include opportunities to learn about and connect with nature, gain new skills working in nature and to take action to help protect the natural environment.
Events at the festival, which is supported by Zero Carbon Shropshire, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Shropshire Good Food Partnership and the Lottery Heritage Fund, range from craft events, walks and talks, community fairs and a pop up Grow Your Own Roadshow each weekend.
Festival chair Liz Knowles said that the festival was held for the first time in 2021 and this year’s schedule looked even more packed with events and activities for nature lovers of all ages.
“The festival is designed to give four concentrated weeks of events that focus on the value and beauty of nature, and the urgent need to protect and restore our natural environment. Events will offer everyone the chance to connect with nature, learn new skills and take action in their own lives for its preservation and restoration.”
“We hope that the events of the festival will provide lots of inspiration to help people find ways of working with and protecting our environment all year round,” she said.
The festival kicks off on Saturday, July 23 with an open day from 11am to 3pm at Tom Adam’s Fruit Tree Nursery at Weston Rhyn, near Oswestry. Visitors will have a chance to view the organic certified heritage fruit tree nursery as well as browsing around a range of stall holders offering local food, produce and traditional crafts.
The Grow Your Own Roadshow will be making weekly appearances during the four weeks of the festival with the first taking place on July 23 in Oswestry outside the Liar Liar Coffee Shop from 11am to 2pm.
It will include guidance on how to make small changes in gardens, food choices and in the local community to protect the natural environment. The roadshow will be back at the same venue on July 30, August 6, August 13 and August 20.
The wildlife garden created by Elen Sentier will be open to visitors on July 24 from 2pm to 4.30pm. Elen has created the garden over the last three years at Park Farm House, Smethcott, Church Stretton after spending 20 years developing her expertise in rewilding gardens.
She has designed three medal-winning gardens at RHS Hampton Court Shows. Visitors can email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a visit.
Families can get into the nature festival vibe on July 26 at Bridgnorth Library with a Small Stories and Tiny Tales session for children over 8 years old. Mary Napper and Sal Tonge will be staging a hands-on workshop exploring the smallest anecdotes, sayings and memories about the Shropshire landscape and community. Details are available by contacting the library on 01746 763358.
The festival turns to the county’s roadside verges on July 28 with an illustrated talk on the importance of verges for biodiversity with Janet Cobb, chair of the Restoring Shropshire’s Verges Project. Details are available from Liz Knowles on email@example.com or 07553313012.
Wildlife photographer Terry Moore will be staging a free exhibition of pictures under the title of Wildlife on a Shropshire Farm at Church Stretton’s United Reformed Church hall on July 29 and 30. It showcases wildlife on a working Shropshire farm through the agricultural seasons.
The festival moves to churchyard with a Love Your Burial Ground Day at St Cuthberts’ Church, Clungunford on July 30 from 2pm. The event, run as part of the Opening the Ark project features an afternoon of fun family-friendly activities to get people interested in the wildlife and biodiversity found within the churchyard. The drop-in sessions are free with no need to book.
Shropshire Love Nature Festival project co-ordinator Paul Newman said that the four weeks of the festival had something for everyone.
“It will be a fantastic four weeks of diverse and fascinating events. We hope that people across Shropshire will come together in supporting the festival events, and find out how we can all play a role in celebrating and appreciating Shropshire’s natural environment” he said.
Further information on the festival is available at https://www.shropshirelovenaturefestival.org/ or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on Zero Carbon Shropshire is available at https://zerocarbonshropshire.org/