Following a successful inaugural year in 2015, NiddFest is returning to the picturesque landscape of Nidderdale in Yorkshire.
Running between 5th and 7th August they present a weekend programme of literary greats.
Focusing on celebrating nature in writing, the 2016 programme includes an intimate opening night with festival patron and poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and ‘world laureate’ Imtiaz Dharker, a lively children’s programme, a talk from legendary peace activist Satish Kumar, wild swimming and music from Mercury Prize-nominated Kathryn Williams.
Taking place over three days, in venues such as the Grade 2 listed church St Chad’s and Fish Pond Wood in Bewerley, NiddFest captures the unique spirit of the Yorkshire Dales, whilst providing a platform to world-class authors, poets and experts.
Championing the best in nature writing, NiddFest is joined by poets Carol Ann Duffy and Imtiaz Dharker, and authors Adam Feinstein, Nick Davies, Ali Shaw and John Lewis-Stempel. These authors will be discussing their books, covering a range of topics from ecology in a post-apocalyptic world (Ali Shaw’s novel The Trees) to the trickery of cuckoos (Nick Davies’ new work Cuckoo – Cheating by Nature).
Other special events include a talk with Indian activist, editor and writer Satish Kumar who became internationally famous with his peace walk in the 1960s, and who will be speaking on the opening night of the festival about his new book Soil, Soul and Society. Former Head of Friends of the Earth, Tony Juniper, will also be speaking about what is really happening to our planet.
Some of the UK’s foremost garden writers are also joining the programme, with British presenter and gardener Christine Walkden, well known for her appearances on the One Show and The Great British Garden Revival, talking about her new book, The Life of a Gardener.
In a true celebration of nature, a number of the events will take place outside. The first day of the programme includes a wood walk and wild swim, followed by a picnic. This will be led by a local woodsman, who will speak about managing ancient woodland.
Other highlights are a spot of stargazing with members of the Yorkshire Astrological society, a Dawn Chorus bird walk with author Nick Davies, and a walking tour of Nidderdale’s meadows with leading advocate of the new naturalistic style of planting, Dr Noel Kingsbury, who will be exploring plant communities in the wild.
The children’s programme has been extended this year, including everything from den building to a big draw with children’s author and illustrator Helen Stephens and a recreation of the Brambly Hedge ‘Wilfred’s Birthday Party’. There will also be nature games with the director of the Save Childhood Movement Hattie Garlick. Indoor events will take place in the designated 120-seat children’s tent on the banks of the river Nidd, whilst den building and other activities will allow children to explore nature in a safe and fun environment.
Carol Ann Duffy | John Lewis-Stempel
Christine Walkden | Tony Juniper | Imtiaz Dharker | Satish Kumar | Nick Davies
Ali Shaw | Noel Kingsbury | Adam Feinstein
Brambly Hedge | Helen Stephens | Hattie Garlick
Kathryn Williams and The Barrowband