Hay Festival Winter Weekend 2023

Welcome to the Winter Weekend 2023 programme​. You can purchase individual tickets for in-person live events or, if you are unable to come to Hay, you can watch the festival from your own home with an Online Festival Pass.
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Event 4

Naomi Slade talks to Kitty Corrigan

Gardening in the Dark

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

Dark days, cold temperatures and unfriendly weather don’t mean your garden doesn’t have potential in winter. Author and award-winning garden designer Naomi Slade shares tips on getting the most out of your green space in the winter months.

Addressing the fundamentals of winter gardening, Slade will offer recommendations on the flowers, plants and vegetables you can grow, and show you how to make your garden useable and enjoyable.

Slade, a journalist, author, designer and consultant, celebrates the coldest season in her book RHS The Winter Garden, revealing how to reclaim the outdoors. She is the author of a number of books and has won awards for her garden displays.

She talks to freelance writer and green consultant Kitty Corrigan.

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Event C3

Judy Goldhill, Catherine Mealing-Jones, Ro Spankie and Stephen Pompea

Dark Skies

 Hay Castle - Clore Learning Space

Just six places in the UK have International Dark Sky Reserve status, from where you can see unrivalled views of the beautiful night sky without light pollution; among them is Bannau Brycheiniog National Park, which Hay Castle sits on the edge of.

Join artist Judy Goldhill, astronomy professor Stephen Pompea, and Catherine Mealing-Jones, chair of the Bannau Brycheiniog Dark Skies board, as they discuss with architect and curator Ro Spankie the beauty and awe of our dark skies and why we should care about these spaces.

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Event 14

Hamza Yassin talks to Nicola Cutcher

Be a Birder: The Joy of Birdwatching and How to Get Started

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

Wildlife cameraman and Strictly Come Dancing winner Hamza Yassin takes us on a birdwatching adventure through his new book Be a Birder. He will recount stories and share tips and tricks that are perfect for beginners to the world of birdwatching as well as expert twitchers.

Yassin is a Scottish wildlife cameraman and presenter, an ornithologist and the winner of the 2022 season of Strictly Come Dancing. Born in Sudan, he moved to Scotland when he was young, and studied zoology with conservation at university. His first television appearance was as Ranger Hamza in the CBeebies show Let’s Go for a Walk. Since then, Yassin has appeared on The One Show, Countryfile and Animal Park, and has also presented his own Channel 4 documentaries, Scotland: My Life in the Wild and Scotland: Escape to the Wilderness.

Yassin is in conversation with journalist, writer and documentary maker Nicola Cutcher.

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Event 20

Hamza Yassin - Family Nature Walk

Be a Birder

 Meet Outside Castle Coach House

Join Hamza for a walk in the great outdoors to explore nature around us, inspired by his book Be a Birder, with plenty of time for questions from the group. Please meet outside the Coach House at Hay Castle ready to start at 2.30pm. The event will take place outside so please come prepared for the weather.

There will be a book signing with Hamza at 12:30pm in the Festival Bookshop.

Children must be accompanied by an adult (no ticket required)
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Event 21

Helen Rebanks talks to Louise Minchin

The Farmer’s Wife

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

In The Farmer’s Wife: My Life in Days, Helen Rebanks takes readers from the farmhouse table of her grandmother, through a journey of self-discovery and into the rural Lake District home she now shares with her husband James Rebanks, four children and a plethora of animals.

In discussion with journalist and television presenter Louise Minchin, Rebanks shares stories about her life, loves and work, honestly and intimately meditating on the power of domestic life and encouraging us all to increase our appreciation of the natural world.

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Event 34

Planet Assembly

Winter Weekend Workshop

 Richard Booth’s Bookshop Yoga Studio

Hay Festival’s Planet Assembly workshops, held every day during this year’s summer festival, brought together bold ideas around how to accelerate change needed to tackle our acute climate and biodiversity emergencies.

Laypeople, scientists, commentators, and experts put forward fresh thinking on facing climate change and its effects, and on how to look after our planet better.

At the Winter Weekend Workshop, we want to focus on what these big ideas mean for our own town of Hay-on-Wye, learning from others, sharing what is already happening and discussing what still needs to be done.

The Planet Assembly workshop is the next step in tackling the climate emergency, and is a chance to reconvene, discuss progress and re-energise.

Access on Brook Street rather than through the main shop
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Event 36

Kate Humble talks to Gavin Plumley

Where The Hearth Is

 Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage (Hay Castle)

Kate Humble examines her own experiences and expectations of what is meant by home in her book Where the Hearth Is, and considers the views of others living uniquely, extraordinarily and happily.

As the world of work changes for some people – meaning less time spent in offices and traditional work spaces – Humble discusses how it’s more important than ever to feel happy, healthy, productive and content in our homes.

Humble has been presenting programmes and writing articles and books for the last 20 years. In 2007 she and her husband Ludo Graham moved to a smallholding in Wales and in 2011 set up Humble by Nature, a rural skills school on a working farm in the Wye Valley.
Humble is in conversation with cultural historian Gavin Plumley, author of A Home for All Seasons.

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