Festival of Nature to host staff awaydays and roundtables as it seeks to involve Bristol businesses

May 10, 2024

Bristol firms are being urged to link up with the UK’s biggest nature festival taking place in the city next month, when they will be able to get involved in a host of activities.

Among events targeted at businesses during the 21st annual Festival of Nature will be roundtables on biodiversity and creative industries, nature-focused team away days, outdoor sessions with the NHS and bell boat paddles in Bristol Harbour.  

Festival organisers the Natural History Consortium says efforts to improve sustainability can often feel overwhelming for businesses, particularly for smaller firms and even for those that want to make a more positive contribution to the natural world around them.

As a result, the programme has been designed to make it easy for them to take action.

Officially the UK’s biggest free celebration of the natural world, the Festival of Nature last year attracted more than 20,000 visitors, with activities ranging from wildlife walks, workshops and talks to green crafts, music and exhibitions.

This year’s festival, which runs from 1–9 June across Bristol and Bath, aims to be the biggest and most diverse so far, with a packed programme of more than 70 events and activities. 

Highlights will include:

  • Nature and business sector roundtables in Bristol on 3 June. These will discuss creative industries, biodiversity net gain and the business case for nature.
  • Team awaydays with a difference. Led by official NHS Green Social Prescribing practitioners, these events are aimed at reconnecting and motivating in green spaces around Bristol and strengthening employee relationships while championing local community initiatives.
  • West of England Citizen Science Conference on 5 June. Attendees will get the chance to explore what can be done in citizen science to create better data, improve science, and support the wider community through engaging workshops and insightful presentations.

Other events spread across the week include family-friendly nature activities, music performances, nature walks and the world’s smallest wildlife film festival, held in a tiny 1940s-style caravan cinema powered by renewable energy.

Natural History Consortium chief executive Savita Willmott said: “We really wanted to give businesses a space at the festival to network with like-minded people, share knowledge about working alongside and supporting nature.

“We’re delighted to announce this year’s professional programme, which should give local businesses plenty of food for thought and give them the tools and confidence to take action where they can.

“We want to see more people than ever come along to be inspired, try something new, visit a place they haven’t been to before and get involved with an environmental project.”

Most of the events throughout the festival are free and, with many also taking place online, audiences will be able to tune in from anywhere in the world.

To see the full festival line-up, visit www.festivalofnature.org.uk

The Natural History Consortium is a collaboration between Avon Wildlife Trust, Bath & North East Somerset Council, BBC, Bristol City Council, Bristol Zoological Society, Defra, Forestry England, National Trust, Natural England, University of Bath, University of Bristol, University of the West of England, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, and Woodland Trust.

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