What is Timber Festival, and why should you go this summer?

Hosted in a regenerated woodland, Timber Pageant is a celebration of music, nature and concepts. Right here’s what else to anticipate this July

Nature at centre stage

Timber are the true headline act right here; panorama the star of the present. 1 / 4 of a century in the past, Feanedock Covert and surrounding woodlands nonetheless bore the scars of their industrial previous, pockmarked with clay pits, coal mines and landfill. Right now, the world is a thriving, 70-acre mosaic of meadow, wetlands and native broadleaf forest the place – because the venue for Timber – festival-goers can expertise conservation in motion. 

This picturesque setting of woodland hollows and broad open areas is a dwelling instance of the Nationwide Forest’s imaginative and prescient to breathe new life into as soon as degraded land straddling Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire – however the charity’s work is about greater than merely planting bushes. “We’re creating an identification of a forest,” says John Everitt, chief government of the Nationwide Forest Firm, which leads on the creation of the Nationwide Forest. “That’s not only a visible factor or an ecological factor. That’s the emotional pull – individuals can really feel a part of one thing thrilling they usually can affiliate culturally with the character of this place.”

Timber Pageant started in 2018, the results of a partnership between the Nationwide Forest Firm and pageant producers Wild Rumpus. Its numerous programme receives grant funding from the Nationwide Forest, which nurtures native inventive expertise. “Timber brings collectively nature, sustainability, arts and tradition in a method that captures imaginations and creates magical experiences,” says Nationwide Forest arts officer Jo Maker.

Timber Pageant’s nature-filled setting is ideal for forest lovers. Picture: Wild Rumpus

An inspiring line-up of talks

Over the past 5 years, Timber has turn out to be famend for its packed programme of talks and readings, curated to thrill bookworms, provoke debate and encourage optimistic change. The place else are you able to hear poet laureate Simon Armitage learn from his new e book, Never Good with Horses, earlier than he takes to the decks for a DJ set amid the tree cover?

Additionally on the invoice is Transition Community co-founder, Rob Hopkins, inviting a brand new era of visionary thinkers to unleash their collective energy of creativeness and brainstorm a brand new future. In the meantime Raynor Winn – creator of the bestselling The Salt Path – will discuss her new e book, Landlines, which chronicles her 1,000-mile stroll from the north west of Scotland to the south coast of Cornwall with husband Moth.

Extra creator bulletins are within the pipeline and, consistent with the Nationwide Forest’s concentrate on the pure world, anticipate debate from audio system on environmental science, ecology and conservation, plus talks on every part from wild swimming to adventuring with (and with out!) your youngsters.

Poet laureate Simon Armitage will learn from his e book earlier than main a woodland DJ set. Picture: Wild Rumpus

Music to set the forest alive

The soundscape at Timber is as a lot concerning the birdsong drifting down from the forest cover because the woodland DJs, but it surely wouldn’t be a pageant with out toe-tapping dwell music.

Highlights from this yr’s line-up embrace indie-folk band Keston Cobblers Membership, whose hook-laden melodies have drawn reward from BBC 6 Music stalwarts Edith Bowman and Steve Lamacq. Birmingham band The Destroyers effortlessly meld klezmer, Balkan and British people in an explosive dwell present full of fiddles, woodwind and brass, whereas fellow midlander Elle Chante attracts on her experiences of psychological well being and incapacity to encourage her songwriting – anticipate emotive vocals laid over looping guitars.

From additional afield, Guinea’s multi-instrumentalist and grasp musician N’famady Kouyaté brings fashionable interpretations of conventional Mandingue songs, together with a efficiency on the balafon, a standard picket xylophone sacred to west African tradition.

Fall below nature’s spell this summer season
Get your tickets to Timber Pageant – 7-9 July 2023, Feanedock, the Nationwide Forest
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Immersive wellbeing and nature actions

“The primary intention of the Timber pageant is to precise the Nationwide Forest and its sustainable method,” says Nationwide Forest director of improvement, David Bourque. “It’s a microcosm of our work packed into three days, it’s all about serving to wildlife and folks to thrive alongside one another.”

This yr, Timber’s expanded woodland wellbeing space – devoted to mindfulness and leisure – features a cell sauna the place festival-goers can unwind earlier than taking a revitalising dip in an ice-cold plunge pool beneath the bushes. If baptisms of fireside and ice sound just a little too excessive, you possibly can bliss out with a little bit of forest bathing, the traditional Japanese mindfulness observe of slowing down among the many bushes and tuning into the forest with your whole senses. Elsewhere there’s laughter yoga, dance workshops, meditation and gong baths.

Timber is unashamedly a boutique pageant catering to only 5,000 revellers who for 3 days share this area with the true denizens of Feanedock, its natural world. Be amongst them on Timber’s guided evening time bat stroll. Elsewhere, Nationwide Forest-supported artist Ruth Singer invitations you to discover the world’s ‘extraordinary and humble’ hedgerows by her textile set up.

There will probably be loads of actions for teenagers to get immersed in. Picture: Wild Rumpus

A heat welcome for households

This can be a pageant curated for all ages. “It’s an area for households to come back collectively and discover, there aren’t any boundaries,” says Maker. 

Learn to bust out some Bollywood-style strikes with Bhangra dance periods, or join circus expertise and familiarize yourself with the trapeze. There’s maypole and barn dancing – and if the youngsters aren’t worn out but they will let off steam within the woodland playground.

Look out for legendary animation outfit Aardman, creators of Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep, who’ve teamed up with the Nationwide Forest on a ‘crowd modelling’ exercise for individuals of any age. ‘Wooden-be’ (pun supposed) crafters will probably be invited to mannequin what they wish to see within the forest’s outside areas, akin to native wildlife or individuals merely having fun with the area. These creations will assist form the way forward for the Nationwide Forest by inspiring the charity’s plans because it develops 10 new neighborhood woodlands. 

We’re excited to see what creations individuals supply and the way these will help affect woodland tradition right here within the Nationwide Forest,” says Maker.

Essential picture: Wild Rumpus