Hidden Nature Highlights
Discover more about the great outdoors!
In case you haven’t already heard, this year’s theme is Hidden Nature. We’re so excited to highlight and share the secret natural histories and stories of not just our landscapes, but also gardens, urban green spaces, farms, waterways, buildings and culture. Here are just a few events to start looking forward to!
Enjoy the fresh air of the great outdoors
From the countryside to city parks, nature can be found all around us. These events will help you explore, experience and enjoy our outdoor spaces!
- Find out about Green Spaces at Urb Farm near Milton Keynes - a horticultural social enterprise which trains young people to produce sustainable and seasonal goods for the local community. And keep an eye out for foxes, toads, woodpeckers and hedgehogs; just some of critters which can be found in this peaceful urban green space!
- Enjoy a series of walks with the Mote Park Manager to experience this living landscape in Maidstone. Choose between a daytime walk about the site’s past and present, twilight tales about wildlife emerging as the sun goes down, or even take a bat walk and discover the diversity of species which call the park home.
- Have fun exploring Beverley’s gardens. You’ll be inspired by a variety of gardening styles with influences from around the world, from formal borders to contemporary sculptural grasses. There will also be examples of organic and insect-friendly planting as well as other features such as beehives and duck ponds.
Uncover nature of the past
It’s not just today’s spaces and places we’ll be discovering, these events will be looking back through time, from creatures which were here before us, to how we’ve been interacting with our environments ever since.
- Visit a pop-up display of fabulous nautical fossils in Lowestoft and explore the natural world from millions of years ago! All ages will be enchanted by the weird and wonderful creatures which have lived along the coast, as well as finding out how they can still find evidence for these today.
- Join a special illustrated talk about the lost Pleasure Gardens of Morecambe, which once featured ornamental planting, a boating lake, and a glass pavilion filled with tropical plants. You’ll hear how nature was used as a tourist attraction in the Victorian age, as well as how the Eden Project North is using the area’s natural landscape and ecology to reimagine the seaside resort for the future.
- Explore how nature has been described, recorded and documented through 10 treasures from Newcastle University’s Special Collections and Archives. From apothecary books to the first photographs of Niagara Falls, this online exhibition will reveal historic stories which bring the natural world to life.
Spot nature hiding in plain sight
From architecture and interior design, to records of everyday life, nature has been used, celebrated and documented throughout our history. These events will uncover the stories of the creatures and natural features lurking in our historic environments and archives!
- Spot the nature represented in the art of Hull’s Old Town with a special guided tour of the town’s famous Fish Trail. Installed in 1992, you’ll get to spot the life-sized aquatic sculptures set into the pavement, ranging from tiny anchovies to a 10ft ray, and even an electric eel… expect more than a few ‘fishy’ puns!
- Learn about the rock types used to build Liskeard’s historic buildings with a special geology walk. Find out where they were sourced from, and how considerations like price, beauty, practicality and longevity determined which materials were selected.
- Discover the animals hiding in decorations throughout Exeter’s 17th century Custom House This series of short storytelling films produced for the festival will tell tales of eels in the ornate plaster ceiling, eagles featured on stamps used to mark bales of wool, and a unicorn on the heraldic shield!
Be inspired and get creative
And of course, HODs wouldn’t be HODs without a chance to get creative! These workshops and activities will encourage you to find inspiration in the natural world.
- Spend time outdoors and discover the beauty of the nature in Hadleigh in Suffolk. A walk on this special trail will encourage you to sketch ancient trees and learn about their part in both science and folklore, while special ‘nature hunters’ activities will keep little ones entertained.
- Get creative with a series of video tutorials, dance workshops and downloadable family-fun craft activities exploring the history of Cornwall’s landscape, local clay mining heritage, and communities.
- Learn paper craft techniques to create a decorative mixed media ‘sunken garden’. Take inspiration from natural topics found in audio archives and historic documents stored in the Norfolk Record Office before getting creative with a guided activity.
- Read more Festival Spotlights
- Check out our new Festival Stages - highlighting more great online events
- Search our full event directory - it's updated daily with new events and those all-important amendments, so do check back!
PLEASE NOTE - These events were accurate at the time of publication but this year more than ever the details are subject to change. Please check the individual entries for more.