A 90th birthday deserves a big celebration! Norfolk Wildlife Trust is bringing the county’s wildlife and wild places to Norwich – with help from some special guests – as it takes over the Forum and shop windows in the city.
Four leading naturalists and writers will speak over the two weeks giving an entertaining and personal insight into natural history and today’s wildlife.
Writer Mark Cocker
(Wednesday 25 May, 6.30pm) will explore the modern relationship between people and wildlife in the countryside. Author Kate Blincoe
(Wednesday 1 June, 6.30pm) will be sharing her pragmatic approach to green parenting. David Lindo
(Thursday 26 May, 4pm) known as the ‘Urban Birder’ will be enthusing about engaging with the wildlife within cities. NWT’s Nick Acheson
(Thursday 2 June, 4pm ) will explore the Trust’s 90 year history in a talk illustrated from the archives. Tickets for these talks are on sale, follow the links above.
The hub of activity will be The Forum, 21 May to 5 June
, with activities, storytelling, film footage, free lunchtime wildlife talks, indoor pond and an art exhibition.
Free lunchtime talks from some of the county’s leading naturalists and experts. A 30-minute accessible talk in the Auditorium.
Craft a tern for the outdoor tern raft – the first 90 children each day in half term will receive a voucher for a free boat trip at Ranworth Broad.
Art exhibition of more than 150 works inspired by Norfolk’s wildlife and wild places, featuring renowned Norfolk artists including David Ord Kerr, Robert Gillmor and James McCallum.
Storytelling in a woodland stowaway with well-known children’s authors including BBC’s Minibeast Adventurer, Jess French.
There will be plenty to enjoy around the city too:
Nature reserves trail around ten shop windows in Norwich, with stunning photographs by Richard Osbourne and audio installations by Richard Fair. Download the trail map now or pick one up from the Forum and any of the shops on the trail.
Castle Museum will join in the fun by showcasing 1920s natural history items and pieces from NWT’s archives. There will also be a ‘9 for 90 quiz trail’ around the museum for children to follow.
NWT Conservation Officers lead a ‘wild adventure’ around some of the city’s green spaces.
NWT Chief Executive, Brendan Joyce is excited at the range of events and activities for all, that will also have a deeper significance. “I’ve been marvelling at the way in which people from artists to volunteers, staff and sponsors have all put their energies into this celebratory event. It will be a great time for enjoyment, for creativity and education, but most importantly it will be a time at which we can all discover for the first time, or remind ourselves, of the wonder of nature. It is all around us, it is fragile and it is worth protecting.
Wild in the City has been funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, The John Jarrold Trust and Norwich Town Close Estate Charity. With support from The Forum and Pensthorpe Natural Park.
Robyn Llewellyn, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund East of England said: “In today's Norfolk, more people live in towns and cities than in the countryside. This does not mean that people need lose their contact with nature. There are many ways to be close to wildlife and to re-connect to our wild lives. We are delighted to support the Trust’s anniversary which is all about encouraging that reconnection.”
Richard Fair from the Forum said: “Being in the centre of our beautiful city it is easy to forget that there’s a variety of nature right on our doorsteps. The idea of bringing some of that nature into Norwich and making us more aware of what is around us every day was inspired and we felt it was something we wanted to support.”
Bill Jordan, co-owner of Pensthorpe and President of NWT, said: “Both organisations have so much in common as we all look for ways to spark the imagination of the next generation whilst preserving and enhancing Norfolk’s unique countryside.”