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Why trees are this year's big festival trend

Georgina Wilson-Powell

17 May 2018

Timber, we hear you cry. Well exactly. One of this year's most exciting festivals is all about celebrating the humble tree. And don't roll your eyes at us, it's not all hippy-dippy peace and love down in the National Forest this July.

A new festival takes to the woods this year to celebrate all things tree. Timber Festival (6-9 July) will weave stories, performance art, talks, workshops, magic and music into the National Forest, taking in everything from foraging walks and feasts, board game tents, wood carving, maze making, story telling and spoken word, masked ball and myth-telling.

The National Forest is the first large scale forest to be created in England for 1,000 years. It takes in parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire and has been planting trees for the last 25 years over the top of land that was once mined for coal. In total 8.5 million trees have been planted so far.

Some of our festival highlights to watch out for:

Seek, Find, Speak; A Conjuring Told in Gold is a brand-new official spoken-word adaptation of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, a magical book of acrostic “spell-poems” and bewitching gold-leaf illustrations about twenty common nature words - from "acorn" to "wren" by way of "kingfisher" - at risk of disappearance from modern childhood in our increasingly urban and technologised world. 

Join evening Charcoal Sessions where writers, artists, academics, politicians and scientists, along with those working in woodlands will come together around the charcoal burner to contemplate new ways of living and working in forests, provoking curiosity and inspiring us all to think differently about the world around us. 

Take a journey into the heart of the forest at dusk in the English festival premiere of Tree and Wood, a new interactive performance exploring our relationship to trees and forests by leading artist and producer Jony Easterby, supported by a team of international artists, musicians and perfomers.

Have some buzzing adventures with Beekeeping experiences with the Bee Farmer and the interactive theatre show Bee Cart from Sheffield's Pif Paf Theatre.

Discover the magical full line up and buy tickets for Timber festival here (but keep your eyes peeled for a Twitter competition to come next month - follow us on Twitter).

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