Norfolk Festival of Nature
Now in its fifth year, Norfolk Festival of Nature celebrates the cultural relationships that exist between people and the natural world. The weekend of 14th/15th March 2020 at The Forum in Norwich will launch a month of events across Norfolk celebrating all things nature. The Norfolk Festival of Nature partnership brings many of the top Norfolk wildlife organisations together in the heart of the city, providing free children’s activities, information, wildlife walks, talks and workshops with experts from around the county on nature in Norfolk: past, present and future.
This year the festival will open with an event on Saturday 14th March in the evening exploring this year’s theme – ‘Nature and Wellbeing’. What does our experience of wildlife and the natural world do for our health, physical and mental? Come and join in with questions for our panel of experts who will be reflecting on personal experience and the latest research.
The festival continues on Sunday 15th March when the Atrium in the Forum will be full of stalls run by our various partner organisations, providing children’s activities, information and guided walks for the whole family.
After that, see our listings below for a programme of events taking place across Norfolk in the following weeks. From talks about birding to a riverside writing workshop, from a ‘night sky adventure’ to a literary tour of the North Norfolk coast, we’re sure you’ll find something to excite and inspire you.
During this time, we are also encouraging you to share a special Norfolk place or experience in nature with friends and family, something that means a lot to you but that others may not know about. As Richard Mabey reminds us, ‘what you take for granted might be a revelation to your neighbour.’ Follow us and tell us what you shared: @NFOfNature
The Norfolk Festival of Nature is a partnership that brings together many organisations who are interested in wildlife and nature, including Norfolk Wildlife Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the British Trust for Ornithology, Norfolk Museums Service, the University of East Anglia, Wild Days Conservation, the Ted Ellis Trust, UEA and others.
The Launch Weekend – General activities
Sunday 15th March, 10.00-16.00, The Atrium and The Gallery in The Forum, Norwich
The festival really gets going on Sunday 15th March when the Atrium in the Forum will be full of stalls run by our various partner organisations, providing children’s activities, information and guided walks for the whole family. All welcome and no tickets required.
Norfolk Festival of Nature Book Club
Passionate about nature and contemporary literature? Then join us at the Norfolk Festival of Nature to read and discuss the most fresh and exciting new nature writing. At times urgent and polemical, at times personal and searching, at times playful and unconventional, nature writing is enjoying an extraordinary richness and popularity at the moment. The Book Club offers a friendly and open forum for discussion, focussed through a range of books that make us think in new ways about nature and our place in the world. All welcome.
Or contact Jos.Smith @ uea.ac.uk if you would like to join the Book Club mailing list:
The next meeting will be Wednesday 25th March for the next meeting, 7-9pm in the Louis Marchesi pub, and we will be reading Mark Cocker’s Our Place.
Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th March
Launch Weekend Events
The Forum is the focus for our launch weekend events, including our annual ‘panel debate’ – this year looking at nature and wellbeing – which takes place on the Saturday evening and is a ticketed event. On the Sunday the Forum will be full of stalls, run by our various partner organisations, providing children’s activities, information and guided walks for the whole family; all welcome and no tickets required.
Read more and book tickets
Saturday 14th March, 18.15 – 21.15, The Gallery in The Forum, Norwich Patrick Barkham will be chairing our Festival launch event, this year in conversation with Joe Harkness about his recent book Bird Therapy. Joe’s intimate and searching memoir explores a journey...read more
Sunday 15th March, 10.00 – 16.00, The Atrium and The Gallery in The Forum, Norwich The festival continues on Sunday 15th March when the Atrium in the Forum will be full of stalls run by our various partner organisations, providing children’s activities, information...read more
Sunday 15th March, Norwich Arts Centre, Doors 6.30pm for a prompt 7.30pm start. True Stories Live is a lively, moving and unpredictable event where people tell true stories about their lives inspired by a theme – in this case: The Nature of the Beast – in front of a...read more
Other events – running across the county over the following weeks
This year, for the first time, our partner organisations are running a series of Norfolk Festival of Nature events across the county; these include walks, talks and a dark sky adventure.
Read more and book tickets
Thursday 2nd April 2020 – 19:00 to 21:00 at BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, IP24 2PU Our summer migrants mark the changing seasons, but how much do we know about their lives and how do we find out this information? Paul Stancliffe provides some answers in this evening...read more
Saturday 28th March, 10.30-4pm, Blickling Hall (main reception and ticket office near the car park) Join us for a riverside walk in the Upper Bure River Valley near Blickling Hall. We will be exploring diverse readings of riverine literature along the way, some even...read more
Thursday 26th March 2020 – 19:00 to 21:00 at BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, IP24 2PU The UK’s Curlew population has halved in the last 20 years but what can we do to save this iconic bird, for which the UK is so important? Dr Sam Franks, provides some answers in this...read more
Saturday 21st March 2020, approx. 19.00-21.00, How Hill National Nature Reserve Guided night walk and activities. Experience the weird and wonderful night-time world around How Hill National Nature Reserve in the heart of the Broads; an adventure of astronomy, night...read more
Monday 16th March, 10.30-1pm, RSPB Titchwell Marsh This is an ideal introduction to the landscapes and birdlife of Titchwell Marsh nature reserve. You will visit areas of the reserve that reflect the diversity of wildlife looking at seasonal species of interest as...read more
Wednesday 18th March, 2-4pm Meet at the main entrance to the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts This afternoon walk will explore the Yare Valley Wildlife Trail on UEA’s campus. It will begin with a short outdoor talk by Dr Jos Smith about this year’s Norfolk Festival of...read more
Saturday 21st March, 10.30-3.30pm, Cley Marshes Visitor Centre The North Norfolk coast is rich in literary heritage and also home to many accomplished contemporary writers including Mike Burrows, Margaret Atwood and Kevin Crossley-Holland. Nature writers Mark Cocker...read more
Wednesday 18th March 2020 – 19:00 to 21:00 at BTO, The Nunnery, Thetford, IP24 2PU Author James Parry explores the life of pioneering bird photographer Emma Turner, who captured remarkable images of Norfolk's rare birds. Emma Turner (who died in 1940) was famous in...read more