2017 Wealden Literary Festival
15 and 16 July 2017
Boldshaves Gardens, Woodchurch, Kent (TN26 3RA)
Tickets are now available for the next Wealden Literary Festival which takes place on 15 and 16 July 2017 in the enchanting gardens of Boldshaves near Tenterden, Kent.
Now in its second year, this family-friendly festival has today announced its 2017 programme of events which combines talks from top nature, gardening and travel writers with hands-on, practical courses, activities and events.
Arts and crafts play a key part in the festival with a series of exhibitions, displays and workshops taking place throughout the festival site. Children of all ages are also encouraged to enjoy the arts and crafts workshops.
Everyone can explore the gardens and woodland through a variety of nature trails. Just follow the markers or feel free to ramble at your will.
Today the festival launches its 2017 programme of events which can be booked via the website.
See award-winning writer and co-presenter of the BBC’s Coast series, Nicholas Crane and Lucy Strange who talks about her new book The Secret of Nightingale Wood.
Clover Stroud talks about her powerful story of an idyllic Oxfordshire childhood shattered by a riding accident that left her mother permanently brain-damaged and sent her searching for a sense of home that had been so violently broken.
Hear about Carol Donaldson’s adventures when she set out on a series of walks across the marshes, travelling from Gravesend to Whitstable. Both an act of pilgrimage for a landscape she loves and a journey of discovery into why people are drawn to live there.
Jay Griffiths, author of Kith and Tristimania, takes us on a journey through the wilderness.
Richard Osmond’s brilliant debut poetry collection, Useful Verses, follows in the tradition of the best nature writing, being as much about the human world as the natural, the present as the past.
Mark Cocker and Hugh Warwick, author of Linescapes, unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of the lines we have drawn through our hedges, walls, roads and railways.
Melissa Harrison celebrates the four seasons in conversation with Dan Richards.
Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan, or, The Whale, returns to an aquatic theme with his new book, RisingTideFallingStar, a composite portrait of the subtle, beautiful, inspired and demented ways in which we have come to terms with our watery planet.
Naomi Howarth is an author, illustrator and designer based in London. Her book, The Crow’s Tale, was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2015. In this event, Naomi will be reading her latest book, Tug of War, and leading an art class in which you can learn how to draw the animals she depicts. Suitable for children age 4-8+.
Children can also enjoy storytelling with Beanstalk - a charity who provides one-to-one literary support to children who struggle with reading.
Children 3+ can take part in the secret fairytale adventure into the woods and discover some fairy magic at Boldshaves.
Join Mark Cocker, the celebrated author, naturalist and environmental tutor, on a wildlife safari during which he will be exploring the wildlife at Boldshaves Garden and, weather dependent, identifying the moths from the moth trap he has laid overnight.
Dame Fiona Reynolds (former director general of the national trust), Anna Pavord and Oliver Hilliam of the CPRE explore the joys to be found in nature, the threats faced by today’s landscapes and the possible solutions to some of the pressing issues of our times.
Garden enthusiasts are invited to visit the Drop-in gardeners surgery to find answers to gardening related queries.
Listen to Alys Fowler in conversation with editor of Observer Food Monthly Allan Jenkins. Alys’ beautiful memoir Hidden Nature is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it.
Will Ashon discusses his latest book, Strange Labyrinth - a quest narrative arguing that we shouldn’t get lost in order to find ourselves, but solely to accept that we are lost in the first place.
TV presenter, Reverend Peter Owen Jones has walked the length and breadth of the British Isles. In Pathlands, he has collected 21 of his favourite circular walks and shares his thoughts on the experience and the transformative experience of walking.
Christopher Somerville – The January Man: A Year of Walking Britain. The January Man is the story of a year of walks. Month by month, region by region, and season by season, Times columnist and author Christopher Somerville walks the British Isles, following routes that remind him of his father with whom he shared a love of long distance walking.
Local artist, Clare Smith, is the festival’s artist in residence for 2017.
Visitors will also be able to taste the best of local produce from an array of street food stalls whose ingredients have been sourced from the fields, gardens, hedges and coastline of the Garden of England.
A particular goal of the festival, which is owned and operated by the registered charity Wealden Festival Foundation, is to improve access to the natural world for children. It is for this reason that entrance to the festival for children aged 13 and under is free and the programme is packed with activities and events for children. With its emphasis on community and commitment to addressing the important issue of access to nature, the festival has won the support of some of the country’s best-loved authors, including Robert Macfarlane, author of the Old Ways and Landmarks.
“We wanted to create a festival that champions a few of the things that we feel get lost or overlooked in the hustle and bustle of today. The success of the first festival in 2016 has been heartening and has spurred us on to produce what we hope to be an even better experience in 2017, developing the ways we can explore the relationship between people and place and learn about the living world around us. What the festival offers is a chance to enjoy good books, captivating art and craftwork and delicious food in magical gardens and woodland”, said organisers Laura and Andrew Willan, from Biddenden in Kent.
The location of the Festival is a story of adventure and natural history in itself. The gardens at Boldshaves and the surrounding woodland and farmland are a delight for any nature-lover.
• Day passes (£35) – access to all events on that day and entrance to the festival site.
• Individual events (price as advertised) – includes entrance to the festival site.
• Entrance only (£5) – does not include access to any ticketed events.
• Children under 14 (free) – must enter accompanied by a responsible adult