Phew! Deep breath! NiddFest 2015 is over. And what a weekend it was. People converged from all corners of the UK to come to our fledgling festival of words and nature. Nearly 800 bums on seats, or out foraging, den building, exploring the moors and the river Nidd.
There were so many highlights – the opening night at Toft Gate Barn, high up on the hillside overlooking Nidderdale with two of our greatest living poets, Carol Ann Duffy and Gillian Clarke, Valentine Warner’s incredible sea trout with foraged cure served during his talk, Mark Cocker pointing out a young cuckoo being fed by a meadow pipit, the excitement of children’s den building and a campfire in the woods, and James Rebanks’ talk which was so popular with the people of Nidderdale and beyond.
Our vision for Niddfest has always been to create a merging of books and nature and to be a festival that is both thought-provoking and entertaining at a time when there is so much interest in, and concern about the natural world. The support for our first festival, by the public, the press and our authors has been overwhelming and we are looking forward to the second NiddFest, scheduled for 5-7 August 2016.
A fuller blog telling the story of NiddFest 2015 will come soon, but for now here’s a lovely quote by our patron, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy:
‘NiddFest is going to become an important festival for readers and writers, focusing minds and hearts on the relationship between the human and the earth at a time when so much of the natural world is imperilled. The festival is also joyous, allowing writers and readers to celebrate nature and literature in a particularly beautiful part of England.’
Thank you for coming and we look forward to seeing you again in a year.
Best from all the NiddFest team.