Issue 91 is out now
Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

04th May 2018

Take part in Hedgehog Awareness Week, Wild Beltane celebrations, listen to the dawn chorus, glorious places to swim, reasons to choose a home birth...

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

04th May 2018

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

04th May 2018

EVENT and MAKE Spiky Characters
It’s Hedgehog Awareness Week, your chance to do something to help our spiny friends. A new report suggests that numbers of the prickly characters have declined by more than half since 2000, and there’s been a 97% fall since the 1950s. So this is a good time to make your garden hedgehog friendly or be a little more pro-active, and contact your local council or tool hire company to ask them to use British Hedgehog Preservation Society stickers on their strimmers. Why not take the opportunity to try some hedgehog crafts too?

EVENT Spring Heeled Jacks
Sales of maypoles are up – folk dancing is more popular than ever. Why not be inspired by folk dancers at a traditional event this weekend? The Clun Green Man festival sees our hero battle the Frost Queen on the bridge and bring summer to the Clun Valley, while Hastings’ Jack in the Green festival culminates in a wild costumed parade, where Jack is slayed in order to release the spirit of summer. Helston’s Flora Dance on the 8th is perhaps one of the most famous May celebrations in the country, while Rochester hosts an annual Sweeps Festival, where bands, dancers and street theatre troupes are on the streets for a weekend of fun, culminating in the joyous Sweeps Procession. If you fancy learning more about traditional dancing and the May Day celebrations, book ahead for next week’s May in a Day party at Cecil Sharp House in London.

EVENT and LEARN Tweet Dreams
Rise, shine, and open up your ears – this Sunday is International Dawn Chorus Day! There are morning walks across the country – find one near you here, or simply get up early, head to your garden, a park or the country, and bathe in the glorious sound of sweet birdsong. This year, why not join one of the network of Soundcamps, a network of UK and international sites taking part in the Reveil radio broadcast, which circles the earth at sunrise on a network of live audio streams. Each sound camp explores a place of acoustic and ecological interest through workshops, performances and presentations. Need some more reasons to haul yourself out of bed? Radio 4 have some great dawn chorus facts here

EVENT Pieces of Great!
Aaaaargh! Thousands of pirates overrun the town of Brixham this bank holiday weekend for the annual Pirate Festival. It’s loud and full-on, with swashbuckling battle re-enactments, a shanty town to explore, lots of rollicking music, a huge replica galleon docked in the harbour, and lots of skirmishes, loud bangs and cannon fire. Raise your skull and crossbones flag, and set sail! Free.

EVENT Water Party
The hidden, green canals of London are bursting with nature and a vibrant community all their own. The yearly Canalway Cavalcade, celebrates boating life with a three-day festival at Little Venice. There’s always tons going on for families with games, Punch and Judy, kayaking sessions and lots of creative activities and performances. We always check out the Puppet Theatre Barge for tasters of their excellent shows. Also expect Morris Dancers, boats to look at and explore, and an illuminated procession of barges on the Sunday night. Time to mess about on the river (or, strictly speaking, the canal).

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