Thousands turn up for Festival of Nature
WILDLIFE enthusiasts flocked to Bristol's city centre at the weekend – to learn about the countryside and the environment.
Although numbers were down because of poor weather on Saturday, thousands turned up for the two-day Festival of Nature at Bristol's Harbourside.
More than 150 organisations were represented at the event, which is billed as Europe's biggest free nature festival.
It meant you could learn about everything from marine conservation to protecting bats and from joining the ramblers to finding out how to visit Steep Holm, the island nature reserve in the Bristol Channel.
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A programme of talks was held on Saturday and Sunday in a marquee on a range of subjects, from urban peregrines to the future of food.
One of the experts giving a talk was John Craven, one of the presenters of popular television series Country- file.
The event also featured a market selling organic and homemade produce, items made from natural materials and even the chance to try out an electric-powered bicycle.
Last year about 22,000 people attended the festival which won a tourist award for best event in Bristol.
It was organised by a charity called the Bristol Natural History Consortium which represents 12 organisations that have linked together to promote a better understanding of the natural world.
The festival was one of the main events of Bristol's Green Week which saw thousands of people get involved in environmental awareness.
The week began with a market in Corn Street which featured food and drink produced in the South West and locally created arts and crafts.
There was also an electric bikes competition in Park Street which saw the road closed off for the event.
During the week, there were talks, screenings and lectures every day at venues including Colston Hall, Watershed, The Passenger Shed, Arnolfini, M shed, At-Bristol, Berkeley Square Hotel, Mercure Holland House hotel and Bristol Cathedral.
Bristol's Biggest Bike Ride was also part of Green Week.
One of the talks was by world-famous fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood, who captivated her audience at Colston Hall 2 when she spoke about climate change and called for more individual action and public pressure on policy makers.
Grand Designs presenter Kevin McCloud, Eden Project founder Tim Smit and Transition Towns co-founder Rob Hopkins spoke about regeneration in a lecture sponsored by Triodos bank, Schumacher UK and Carillion, the construction firm developing Southmead Hospital.
On Saturday there was an all-day event at the Council House, including a session on values and money hosted by Ciaran Mundy, director of the Bristol Pound.
The final Schumacher Lecture on Saturday night at the Council House focused on moving to a "zero" society – of zero carbon, zero waste, zero toxics and zero poverty – and included speakers John Elkington, Jonathon Porritt and green poet Matt Harvey.