Thursday, 26 April 2018

Timber Festival - preview

A short while ago, I wrote about festivals taking place this summer within easy reach of my home in Derby, and you may remember the one that really fired my enthusiasm was Timber, the International Forest Festival, which celebrates everything 'woodland' through art, music, discussions, and activities. I'm very much a 'tree-hugger'. I grew up climbing them, building dens under them from fallen branches, and still love to walk through bluebell woods and dark pine forests, or sit in the dappled shade of my garden trees. This festival appeals to me in so many ways, so I was delighted to be offered the opportunity to go along and see for myself what it is all about.
Where to start? As I've explored the Timber website more, I've discovered a wide variety of activities, entertainment and presentations so it's possible to only scratch the surface here.

The keynote speech comes from Stuart Maconie, radio presenter, author, and chairman of the Ramblers, on the changing landscape of post-industrial Britain - a relevant topic for this location as much of the National Forest grows on reclaimed mining landscapes, transforming the land from black to green.
 Fiona Stafford will be reading from her Radio3 series of essays about trees, and Lindsey Chapman, from BBC2's Springwatch Unsprung, will chair a discussion on the role of woods as setting and influence on art, film and literature, while another debate will focus on current environmental issues, and, if you've a woodland-related social enterprise project in need of funding, there's opportunity to pitch for it.

Museum of the Moon

It isn't all serious stuff though. You can get up early for a jog through the forest at dawn, or stay up late to join in a torchlit procession, or see the Moon up close in Luke Jerram's Museum of the Moon.

In between you could go on a foraging walk, help build a maze, climb a tree, test your balance on slack-lines strung from tree to tree, watch experts share their love of creating things from wood - carving, willow weaving, timber construction - and learn about the route your food takes from Field to Fork.
If this is all too energetic for you then try something more relaxing - yoga, tai chi, forest bathing, Indian head massage -  just sit and listen to campfire stories, or catch some 'Comedy in the Dark' from Mark Dolan and Joey Page.

It wouldn't be a festival of course without music, and again there's something for everyone, from the quieter folk songs of Ewan McLennan, through Perhaps Contraption described as a progressive brass band, to Discolypso, mixing Caribbean, African and Latin rhythms.

Throughout the weekend there are specific activities and interactive theatrical productions for children - they can find out what it's like to be a woodland animal, join a mask-making workshop, discover the Bewonderment machine ( a cycle-powered carousel) and there's even a special board games tent.

A joint effort between the National Forest Company and Wild Rumpus, Timber takes place over the weekend of 6/7/8 July at Fearnedock. a seventy acre woodland site on the Derbyshire/Leicestershire border, in the heart of the National Forest. You can visit for a day, or stay the whole weekend, bring your own tent or choose from a variety of glamping options of tents, pods, tipis and domes. For details of ticket prices and further programme, location, accessibility information check out the Timber website here

See how it went here - timber-festival-2018


  1. It sounds fab and I have the song 'Timber' in my head now!! You will pleased to know that we have now booked a second one day festival this year at Audley End - it's the same weekend as the other one so that counts as a festival weekend don't you think??!! Getting there Mary, thanks to your enthusiasm. Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond

    1. That's definitely a festival weekend, Nicky! Lot of folk disappear to comfy hotels overnight, so why not nip home :) I'm going to have to do the same for Timber, just going along for a few hours each day as the dog can't come along.

  2. I now have festival envy Mary. I love the sound of this. The smaller and more intimate festivals appeal to me much more. Nothing beats a good tree hug! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

    1. I love the way everything about this is focused on trees and forests. I'm hoping to be entertained and enlightened by it all. Thanks for dropping by and commenting, Sharon x