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Event 7

Helen Browning, David Speller and Jake Freestone talk to Rob Yorke

Green-tech tinted glasses: how smarter agriculture can reduce farming’s footprint

Venue: Cube

Crop drones, precision pesticides, earthworm management, poultry software and GPS- directed tractors are just some of the new technologies that are revolutionising agriculture. The panel discusses agri-tech innovation helping farmers to become more efficient by using fewer resources. Browning is CEO of the Soil Association, Speller is an award-winning poultry farmer, Freestone a Linking Environment and Farming accredited farm manager.

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Helen Browning, David Speller and Jake Freestone talk to Rob Yorke

Event 15

Stephen Moss

Wonderland: A Year of Britain’s Wildlife, Day by Day

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

From blackbirds, beavers and beetles to tawny owls, natterjack toads and lemon slugs,  every  day of the year, winter or summer, in every corner of the British Isles, there's plenty to see if you know where -- and how -- to look. The Springwatch star’s books include The Bumper Book of Nature and Tweet of the Day.

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Stephen Moss

Event 25

Dan Haworth-Salter, Sue Bell and Conrad Feather talk to Diana Toynbee

The Size of Herefordshire

Venue: Cube

Among the bravest fighters for the Amazon rainforest are the Wampis people from Peru.  They’re supported by the Size of Herefordshire, a local group, who are just back from visiting them and join us with photographs, films and stories.

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Dan Haworth-Salter, Sue Bell and Conrad Feather talk to Diana Toynbee

Event 42

Kate Evans

Harmony for Elephants

Venue: Oxfam Moot

Elephants are ecosystem shapers. By knocking down trees and opening up bushy areas, they can increase the amount of grass available to other herbivores in the system. They move across vast distances, using distinct pathways that also offer easy travel routes to other species. Elephants can  act as seed dispersers, facilitating the growth of many woody species by depositing seeds in their faeces. In this illustrated introduction, the zoologist and founder of the Botswana conservation project Elephants for Africa explores the conservation and study of elephants in their natural eco-systems.

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Kate Evans

Event 58

Amanda Owen

A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess

Venue: Good Energy Stage

The best-selling author describes the age-old cycle of a farming year and the constant challenges of life at Ravenseat, the remote Yorkshire hill farm she shares with husband Clive, nine children and 1,000 sheep. Chaired by Oliver Balch, author of Under the Tump.

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Amanda Owen

Event 71

George Peterken, Fiona Stafford and Christiana Payne

Living Landscapes – Tree Charter Series 1

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

The changing ‘treescape’ of the UK holds clues to social, political and natural events throughout history. From agriculture to boat building, Dutch elm disease and the great storm of 1987, the state of trees and woods in our landscape tell a story of our past and hold lessons for our future. Author Fiona Stafford and woodland ecologist George Peterken, both featured in Arboreal, a Common Ground collection of woodland writing, talk to Christiana Payne, Professor of History of Art at Oxford Brookes University.

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Event 119

Tobias Jones, Jackie Morris and Zaffar Kunial

Staying Rooted – Tree Charter Series 2

Venue: Cube

A connection with trees and woods helps people find inspiration, inner calm and mental balance. Author and journalist Tobias Jones and poet Zaffar Kunial are both featured in Arboreal, a Common Ground collection of woodland writing. They are joined by the illustrator Jackie Morris to discuss the role of trees and woods in finding inspiration and mental balance in our lives.  

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Event 121

Rory Stewart

The Marches

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

The writer and politician  recounts his final journey with his 90-year-old father along the border between Scotland and England. They relive Scottish dances, reflect on Burmese honey-bears, and on the loss of human presence in the British landscape. On mountain ridges and in housing estates they uncover a forgotten country crushed between England and Scotland: the Middleland. They discover unsettling modern lives, lodged in an ancient land. Their odyssey develops into a history of nationhood, an anatomy of the landscape, a chronicle of contemporary Britain and an exuberant encounter between a father and a son. 

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Event 184

Alys Fowler

Hidden Nature: A Voyage of Discovery

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Leaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham’s canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart. Her memoir is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care? Chaired by Lucy Cotter.

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Alys Fowler

Event 194

Jessica Seaton

Gather Cook Feast: Recipes from Land and Water

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Seaton, the founder of TOAST, is inspired by the food from our seas, our rivers, our farmland, our gardens and our wild places. Her new cookbook is full of simple, seasonal and nourishing recipes such as braised short ribs with horseradish, courgette fritters with minted yoghurt, mackerel escabeche with wild fennel and kale, and roast vegetable and barley salad with crisped artichokes. She shares her love of food and landscape with Kitty Corrigan.

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Jessica Seaton

Event 206

Mario Hamuy

A Journey Through An Expanding Universe

Venue: Starlight Stage

A spectacular tour, from the solar system to the most distant objects that have been observed reveals the vastness of the Universe, which began with an explosion 13.7 billion years ago. Hamuy shows that the Universe is tremendously dynamic and in permanent evolution. The astronomer is from Chile, a country that has become the Earth’s window into space. He was part of the team that detected the acceleration of the universe and the existence of a new dark energy component in the 1990s. Chaired by Martin Rees.

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Event 207

Kate Fox

Quarrybank Women’s Work

Venue: Cube

The comedian and poet performs work produced during her residency at Quarry Bank, one of the Industrial Revolution’s best-preserved textile mills.  Fox has had unique access to journals of women who worked in the mill, which has informed her lifelong commitment to the issues of gender history and ‘Northern-ness’.

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Kate Fox

Event 214

Paul Olver

Mapping Herefordshire’s Landscape

Venue: Compass

In the 1830s, a number of geologists, who were essentially border squires and clergymen, shared their knowledge of fossils with Roderick Murchison, which led to the eventual designation of the ‘Silurian System’. This appreciation of the landscape and being able to ‘read the land’ was also the inspiration in the county for the Picturesque Movement’. Olver explains the origins of the rock types and the local landscape and discusses the importance of Herefordshire in the formative years of geological science.

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Paul Olver

Event S5

Lighting Up Lives: Solar Technology Programme in Kenya

Venue: The Storytelling Nook

Come along to our immersive lantern-lit tented Storytelling Nook to listen to Veronica Lamond’s illustrated stories of Landy and Fender the lovable Land Rovers, and Kenyan author Aunty Kiko’s tale “Baby Elephant’s Safari, and experience how solar light is making a difference to millions of families in Africa.

Family event
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Lighting Up Lives: Solar Technology Programme in Kenya

Event 218

Adam Nicolson

The Seabird’s Cry: The Lives and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers

Venue: Good Energy Stage

Modern science has begun to understand sea birds: their epic voyages, their astonishing abilities to navigate for tens of thousands of miles on a featureless sea, their ability to smell their way towards fish and home. Only the poets in the past would have thought of seabirds as creatures riding the ripples and currents of the planet, though that is what the scientists are witnessing now, too. But a global tragedy is unfolding. The number of seabirds is in freefall: a 70% decline, a billion fewer now than there were in 1950.

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Event 219

Lawrence Krauss

The Greatest Story Ever Told...So Far

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Krauss takes us on a tour of science and the brilliant personalities who shaped it, often against political and religious indoctrination, enduring persecution and ostracism. He explains our current understanding of nature and the struggle to construct, and then to understand the greatest theoretical edifice ever assembled: the Standard Model of Particle Physics.  Krauss is the author of the classic A Universe From Nothing and The Physics of Star Trek.

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Lawrence Krauss

Event 221

Alasdair Coles

Cambridge Series: Body, Brain and Behaviour

Venue: Tata Tent

Once considered separate and independent, it is now clear that the there is an intimate, two-way connection between the two most complex body systems: the immune system and the brain. So our behaviour can affect inflammation in the body, and immune cells can alter our behaviour. Reverend Alasdair Coles, Professor of Neuroimmunology examines the implications. Chaired by Daniel Davis.

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Event 226

David M. Pyle

Volcanoes: Encounters Through the Ages

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

Whether as signposts to an underworld, beacons to ancient mariners or as extraordinary manifestations of the natural world, volcanoes have intrigued many people, who have left records of their encounters in letters, diaries, sketches and illustrations. The Oxford volcanologist shares contemporary accounts of eruptions – from Pliny’s 79 CE report of Vesuvius to 21st century imaging of Santorini.

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David M. Pyle

Event 235

Dan Pearson

Natural Selection: a Year in the Garden

Venue: Oxfam Moot

Pearson draws on ten years of his Observer columns to explore the rhythms and pleasures of a year in the garden. Travelling between his city-bound plot in Peckham and 20 acres of verdant hillside in Somerset, he celebrates the beautiful skeletons of the winter garden, the joyous passage into spring, the heady smell of summer’s bud break and the flaring of colour in autumn.

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Dan Pearson

Event 236

Alexander Todorov

Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions

Venue: Tata Tent

We make up our minds about others after seeing their faces for a fraction of a second –and these snap judgments predict all kinds of important decisions. Yet the character judgments we make from faces are as inaccurate as they are irresistible. Using cutting-edge research, the Princeton psychologist describes how we have evolved the ability to read basic social signals and momentary emotional states, using a network of brain regions dedicated to the processing of faces. 

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Event 240

Peter Wohlleben

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate–Discoveries from a Secret World

Venue: Oxfam Moot

Much like human families, tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them and support them as they grow, sharing nutrients with those who are sick or struggling and creating an ecosystem that mitigates the impact of extremes of heat and cold for the whole group. Trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old. In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group. Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities. Chaired by Georgina Godwin.

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Peter Wohlleben

Event 248

Susan Molyneux Hodgson, Julie Hill and Dale Sanders

The Royal Society Platform: We Need To Talk About Gene Tech

Venue: Good Energy Stage

Why does public debate and policy treat the application of genetic technology differently when we are discussing medicine and food? Why is our concept of what is ‘natural’ so controversial and the idea of GM food so alarming? Scientists and sociologists come together with Daniel Davis to discuss what’s being ventured and how it is perceived.

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Susan Molyneux Hodgson, Julie Hill and Dale Sanders

Event 267

Pete Brown talks to Andy Fryers

The Apple Orchard: The Story of Our Most English Fruit

Venue: Good Energy Stage

Taking us through the seasons in England’s apple-growing heartlands, Brown uncovers the stories and folklore of our most familiar fruit. An orchard is not a field. It’s not a forest or a copse. It couldn’t occur naturally but it demonstrates that man and nature together can create something beautiful.

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Pete Brown talks to Andy Fryers

Event 272

Louise Gray, Steve Ormerod and Tony Davies talk with Katie-Jo Luxton

The Nature of Brexit: challenges and opportunities for wildlife and farming

Venue: Good Energy Stage

In 2016 over 50 organisations came together across the UK to produce and publish the second State of Nature report. It shows that the UK is one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world. The long-term future of farming is at stake if the natural systems on which it is based are depleted. Our panel looks at what the next 30 years could look like if the natural environment was placed at the centre of farming policies post-Brexit. Poet Martin Daws will open and close this event.

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Louise Gray, Steve Ormerod and Tony Davies talk with Katie-Jo Luxton

Event 290

Germaine Greer, Rob Penn and Beccy Speight talk to Andy Fryers

Tree Charter Series 3: Towards a new Charter for Trees, Woods and People

Venue: Good Energy Stage

The Tree Charter launches this year, built from more than 50,000 public stories about the value of trees and woods. How have the issues of rights and responsibilities shaped the relationship between people and trees over the 800 years since the 1217 Charter of the Forest? Germaine Greer, author of White Beech: The Rainforest Years and community woods enthusiast Rob Penn talk with Woodland Trust CEO Beccy Speight about the role of trees in our lives; and about the role of a Tree Charter in protecting this for the future.

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Event 294

Dave Goulson

Bee Quest

Venue: Good Energy Stage

A hunt for the world’s most elusive bees leads Goulson from Salisbury plain to Sussex hedgerows, from Poland to Patagonia. Whether he is tracking great yellow bumblebees in the Hebrides or chasing orchid bees through the Ecuadorian jungle, the biologist’s wit, humour and deep love of nature make him the ideal travelling companion.

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Event 299

Bill Sewell talks to Jake Kemp

Food, Pleasure and Community

Venue: Cube

On the final day of his crowd-funding campaign for his new book Bill’s Kitchen, food writer and restaurateur Bill Sewell discusses his journey from concerned London vegetarian to enthusiastic rural omnivore. His trademarks are strong flavours, simple techniques and a passion for the pleasure of cooking as well as eating. They talk about eating well but not cleanly; and the ways in which social media can either kill or build a sense of community around food, cooking and eating.

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Bill Sewell talks to Jake Kemp

Event 311

Brian Muelaner and Alan Power

The Ankerwyke Tree and the Ancient Trees that Shaped our History

Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

The tree experts introduce the ancient yew at Runnymede, which may have been 1,700 years old when King John signed the Magna Carta under its branches in 1215; the existing Isaac Newton apple tree and other wonderful ancient trees from around England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Power is head gardener at Stourhead. Muelaner is co-author of Ancient Trees of the National Trust.

Do you have a tree you need identifying?  Bring us a leaf or a photo and we’ll ask our experts Brian and Alan and The Woodland Trust’s tree guru Jill Butler. They’ll be at the Woodland Trust stall onsite during the day.

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Brian Muelaner and Alan Power

Event 318

Richard Hayman

The River Wye as a psychological and physical barrier

Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

The Wye’s natural beauty has long been part of the river’s heritage, but many aspects of its history have been forgotten. Having both a Welsh and an English heritage, the Wye has a special unifying role in British culture, as well as exhibiting some of the classic features of a border. The river has been a psychological barrier separating cultures by language, religion and politics, and a physical barrier separating hostile rivals. By tradition the Wye was the last refuge of Vortigern and of Owain Glyndwr. In the 18th century, timber that was floated down the river from the Golden Valley built the British fleet that took on the French at Trafalgar. 

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Richard Hayman

Event 321

Jonathan Porritt, Claire Fox, Ed Gillespie and Martin Wright

Sustainability in an Age of Brexit and Trump

Venue: Good Energy Stage

How does the green movement best respond to the collapse of the liberal consensus and the defunding of the American EPA? Is it a useful slap in the face to a movement that may have become a little too comfortably ensconced in the mainstream? Veteran environmentalist Jonathan Porritt joins Claire Fox from the Institute of Ideas and sustainability expert Ed Gillespie to talk with Forum for the Future’s Martin Wright.

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