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The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June - you can download a PDF of the programme here. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.

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Nature

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

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

Event 7 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

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

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Stephen Moss

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

Event 15 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Stephen Moss

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

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

The Size of Herefordshire

Event 25 Venue: Cube

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

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.

Price: £6.30
 
 

Kate Evans

Harmony for Elephants

Event 42 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Kate Evans

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Amanda Owen

A Year in the Life of the Yorkshire Shepherdess

Event 58 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Amanda Owen

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Tobias Jones, Jackie Morris and Zaffar Kunial

Staying Rooted – Tree Charter Series 2

Event 119 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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Alys Fowler

Hidden Nature: A Voyage of Discovery

Event 184 Venue: Starlight 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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Jessica Seaton

Gather Cook Feast: Recipes from Land and Water

Event 194 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Jessica Seaton

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Paul Olver

Mapping Herefordshire’s Landscape

Event 214 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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Lighting Up Lives: Solar Technology Programme in Kenya

Event S5 Venue: The Storytelling Nook

Come along to our immersive lantern-lit tented Storytelling Nook to listen to tales from around the world with Veronica Lamond and Auntie Kiko, and experience how solar light is making a difference to millions of families in Africa.

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Adam Nicolson

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

Event 218 Venue: Tata Tent

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Lawrence Krauss

The Greatest Story Ever Told...So Far

Event 219 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Lawrence Krauss

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

David M. Pyle

Volcanoes: Encounters Through the Ages

Event 226 Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage

David M. Pyle

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Dan Pearson

Natural Selection: a Year in the Garden

Event 235 Venue: Tata Tent

Dan Pearson

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.

Price: £8.30
 
 

Peter Wohlleben

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

Event 240 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Peter Wohlleben

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.

Price: £8.30
 
 

Susan Molyneux Hodgson, Stephen Tindale and Dale Sanders

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

Event 248 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Susan Molyneux Hodgson, Stephen Tindale and Dale Sanders

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Pete Brown talks to Andy Fryers

The Apple Orchard: The Story of Our Most English Fruit

Event 267 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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

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

The State of Nature Report

Event 272 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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Germaine Greer, Rob Penn and Beccy Speight

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

Event 290 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.

Price: £8.30
 
 

Dave Goulson

Bee Quest

Event 294 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Dave Goulson

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.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Brian Muelaner and Alan Power

The Ankerwyke Tree and the Ancient Trees that Shaped our History

Event 311 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Brian Muelaner and Alan Power

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.

Price: £8.30
 
 

Richard Hayman

The River Wye as a psychological and physical barrier

Event 318 Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage

Richard Hayman

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. 

Price: £8.30
 
 

Hugh Warwick

Linescapes: Remapping and Reconnecting Britain’s Fragmented Wildlife

Event 335 Venue: Good Energy Stage

Hugh Warwick

It is rare to find a landscape untouched by our lines – the hedges, walls, ditches and dykes built to enclose and separate; and the green lanes, roads, canals, railways and power lines, designed to connect. This vast network of lines has transformed our landscape.

In Linescapes, Hugh Warwick unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of the lines we have drawn. As our lives and our land have been fenced in and threaded together, so wildlife habitats have been cut into ever smaller, and increasingly unviable, fragments. He talks to Oliver Balch author of Under the Tump.

Price: £7.30
 
 

Adam Henson

Like Farmer, Like Son

Event 338 Venue: Oxfam Moot

Adam Henson

The Countryfile star and visionary farmer explores his bond with his life-long hero: his father, Joe. In the 1940s and ’50s Joe, the son of stage and film star Leslie Henson, chose a completely different path and decided to pursue a career as a farmer. Joe overcame a serious stammer to become a regular broadcaster on Country Matters. He became the saviour of Britain’s rare breeds and opened the world’s first Farm Park.

Price: £10.30
 
 

Rachel Dowse talks to Jane Davidson

Starling Song: Murmurations of Meaning

Event 346 Venue: Good Energy Stage

The 2017 INSPIRE/ASLE-UKI Lecture

Often overlooked, taken for granted and sometimes even shooed away from our bird tables, the common starling is, as Rachel Dowse shows in this illustrated talk, a beautiful and inspiring bird with a long cultural and linguistic heritage. From Aristotle and Pliny, to Mozart and the Mabinogion and Peter Coates and Robert Macfarlane, the starling has inspired writers, musicians, and scientists.

Price: £7.30