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Eco-friendly festival returns to Stroud

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Author: Thomas Hadfield, Posted: Thursday, 27th June 2019, 09:00

Satish Kumar at the 2017 festival Satish Kumar at the 2017 festival

Environmental issues have come to the forefront of many people’s concerns in recent years, with movements like the Fridays for the Future Youth and Extinction Rebellion bringing climate change to the attention of the nation.

Victoria Whelan was part of the protests in London – “it was amazing as we knew it was literally the start of real change,” she said – and is now preparing for Hawkwood’s Seed Festival, a biennial event she founded to help spread the word on climate change.

She said: “We say that it’s more of a ‘conference in a field’ rather than a hedonistic gathering that some might imagine!

“The idea behind the festival is to plant big ideas, learn skills, hear inspirational speakers and process all the new information you learn in the beautiful woodland setting, so you can go back into the world resourced and ready to ‘Be The Change’!”

This year will be the fourth edition of the festival, which began in 2013, with the overriding theme of the weekend being ‘Action’ – “we say #Act4Hope as its only action that will give you hope,” said Victoria.

Speakers including BBC Springwatch presenter Gillian Burke, Bruce Parry, Jon Young from 8 Shields in America and Dr Gail Bradbrook, one of the co-founders of the Extinction Rebellion, will be appearing at the festival, among a host of other leading environmentalists.

“One of the great things about the festival,” continued Victoria, “is that even our big speakers love to hang out and are really accessible and open to discussions with visitors.

“Last time we had Caroline Lucas (leader of the Green Party) who said, “the Seed Festival gives Green Activists a chance to re-group, re-energise and restore.”

“We’ve got a great mix of interesting contributors from top level government advisors right down to grassroots movements – it’s pretty unique.”

The festival will also feature a host of musicians and bands from all over the world, as well as workshops for visitors to learn about things like living without plastic, upcycling and other hot topics.

There will also be a number of films on offer, including documentaries ‘Paris to Pittsburgh’ and ‘Sharkwater Extinction’, plus projects from independent filmmakers as part of the LUSH film fund.

Hawkwood’s Seed Festival takes place from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st July in Stroud.

“It’s a drop-dead gorgeous venue in the Cotswolds with woodlands and a natural spring within a biodynamic farm,” added Victoria. “We always had good weather too, we’ve been very lucky.”

Victoria’s passion for the festival and the cause is clear, and she believes this year’s festival is set to be the best yet, as more and more people begin to sit up and take notice of climate change, pollution and other environmental issues.

“For a long time it’s been like banging a drum in a vacuum,” she laughed.

“Not this year though because of people like Greta Thurnberg, the late Polly Higgins, David Attenborough and the protestors in London in April – we have changed the world.

“There’s lots for families and we help explain the big, crucial conversations parents need to have with kids. Overall I think it’s going to be a wholesome, deep, nourishing event that can provide support on many levels.”

For more information on Hawkwood’s Seed Festival visit www.seedfestival.co.uk

Other Images

Visitors can take part in workshops throughout
Crowds at the 2017 festival
Springwatch presenter Gillian Burke will be speaking

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