Welcome to our new blog which hopes to explore how we can use the arts to animate woodland spaces with a view to connecting people more intrinsically with nature and the natural world. We’re going to use a current festival that we’re producing (called Timber) to follow the journey of setting up an event in a forest environment. Over the coming weeks, we’ll explore all the elements of planning from the logistics and licensing through to programming, volunteering, funding, accessibility and marketing of the festival. Hopefully this will provide some inspiration as well as some practical advice and ideas which are scalable for anyone establishing their own arts or cultural events in woodland settings.
Timber (which will take place in July 2018) is a new weekend camping festival exploring the transformative impact of forests, in the heart of the National Forest, one of Britain’s boldest environmental projects. Celebrating woodland culture in all its forms, it will be an intoxicating experience where music, art, philosophy and sustainability weave together into an unforgettable, exhilarating weekend. Bringing together artists, musicians, scientists and thinkers from across the world, we’ll be diving into the poetry of nature, exploring what forests and woodlands can mean to us and how we can re-imagine our relationship with our environment.
The festival is created by the National Forest Company in partnership with Wild Rumpus who have been producing outdoor arts events in natural spaces for the last nine years – everything from afternoon folk concerts for 50 families, weekly arts and crafts workshops and one off theatrical performances, through to larger scale site-specific productions attracting thousands of people. We’re passionate about the great outdoors, and as we work from four acres of woodland in Cheshire in a converted horsebox and treehouse, we know first-hand how immersing yourself in nature can make you happier, healthier and more creative.
We’d love this to be the start of a conversation about what works and what doesn’t, a place to share ideas and inspiration. Let us know what you’d like to hear about. Over the coming weeks we’ll share our timelines, to do lists, inspiration boards, programming and logistical plans.
Our Woodland Culture blog is supported by Making Local Woods Work, an exciting pilot project working to help support and grow woodland social enterprises across the UK.