Drop into the Talks Tent and learn more about nature this summer | Festival of Nature’s Wild Weekend 2023

The Talks Tent at Wild Weekend is a space to find out more from the organisations and individuals from across the region who are taking action for nature! Throughout Saturday and Sunday 17th - 18th June, swing by and join free interactive speed-talks, presentations and shows to inspire you to go wild this summer.

Each performance is drop in, so there’s no need to book. Simply turn up at Millennium Square, make your way to the Talks Tent, and learn something new about the nature on your doorstep!

Saturday 17th June

10:00 – 10:45am

“The Missing Bees”

Nick, The3Engineers

The3Engineers will be reading their new book called “The Missing Bees” which follows their main character Scout, who loves to figure things out, on an adventure to find the missing bees. Will she ‘bee’ able to find them?


11:00 – 11:15am

"The water beneath us"

Natalie Kieboom, Environment Agency

When we think of sources of water we usually imagine rivers or lakes – perhaps even rain. But lots of water actually comes from deep in the ground. Also known as groundwater, it is a vital source of our drinking water. Find out about how important, and vulnerable, it is from groundwater scientist, Natalie.


11:15 – 11:30am

"What does nature do for us?

Rachel Gibson, Environment Agency

From urban green spaces to pollinators and coastal habitats, Rachel will be sharing her research into the range of benefits nature provides for us, what’s happening across England to protect it and why we need to continue working towards a future full of nature.


11:45am – 12:00pm

"Wild about waste!"

Nohelia Fernandez, Bristol Waste


12:15 – 12:30pm

"Ancient Woodland Photography Competition"

Safia Gilder-Hodgson, Forest of Avon Trust

Find out how to enter this competition!


12:45 – 13:00pm

"Refill Return Cup scheme"

The Refill Return Cup is the first-of-its-kind returnable coffee cup scheme in independent coffee outlets across Bristol, making it easy for Bristolians to choose to have their takeaway drinks in a reusable cup without having to remember their own.


13:15 – 13:30pm

"Team Wilder"

Julie Doherty, Avon Wildlife Trust

Team Wilder is a growing movement of people who notice and celebrate nature in their day-to-day lives, taking the global problem of biodiversity loss down to a super-local level, enabling action to be achievable and the ‘new norm’. 


1:45 – 2:00pm

"Meet a Ranger"

Sian Brewer, Forestry England

Put your woodland questions to the expert!


2:15 - 2:30pm

"European Eels in Blagdon Lake"

Kirsty Dunford, Bristol Water

Find out more about the endangered European Eel and the conservation programme taking place just outside of Bristol.


2:45 – 3:00pm

"The need for planting trees in the Avon area"

Susan Barker, Avon Needs Trees


Sunday 18th June

10 – 10:45am

"Narwhal - a children's guide to the secrets of the arctic unicorn"

Justin Anderson

Join wildlife film maker and children's author Justin Anderson as he introduces us to the mysterious frozen world of the Narwhal - the arctic unicorn. With fun games, sounds and pictures, Justin reads from his award winning children's book and reveals everything you need to know about this incredible whale. Ideal for families with young kids 4-11.


11 – 11:15am

"How to help your river"

Amy Wade, Bristol Avon Rivers Trust


11:30 – 11:45am

"Exploring Bristol’s Green Spaces to boost mental and physical health"

Karol & Krystian, Boys in Bristol

The Boys in Bristol (Karol & Krystian) want to create an amazing portfolio of all the green spaces in Bristol in one place and encourage people to visit those spaces to boost their mental health as well as physical well-being. 


12:00 – 12:15pm

"Rewilding in the Somerset Levels"

Alasdair Cameron, Somerset Wildlands

The Somerset Levels were once England’s Danube Delta. From pelicans to lynx, beavers to sturgeons, it would have teemed with wildlife. Somerset Wildlands is aimed at restoring some of that lost life and wildness through a process of rewilding.


12:30 – 12:45pm

"Power to the Fruit Flies!"

Nick Priest, University of Bath

Using Citizen Science to resolve the biggest case of gender inequity in the natural world!


1:00 – 1:15pm

"Ancient Woodland Photography Competition"

Safia Gilder-Hodgson, Forest of Avon Trust


1:30 – 1:45pm

"How the amazing acoustics of moth wings will help us live quieter and hence healthier lives"

Marc Holderied, University of Bristol


2 - 2:15pm

"What a zoo can and should be"

Beth Gallichan, Bristol Zoological Society

Beyond being a visitor attraction, Bristol Zoo embraces a conservation-centric, purpose-driven ethos through its mission of saving wildlife together.  Discover how you can be part of the evolution of Bristol Zoo Project and its plan to invest in the 136-acre site to create a zoo for the future.


2:30 - 2:45pm

"Clean air in Bristol: what can you do?"

Jo Barnes, University of the West of England


3:00 - 3:15pm - to be announced!


3:30 – 3:45pm

‘Groundbreakers - the return of wild boar to Britain’

Chantal Lyons

Hear about the amazing story of how wild boar returned to Britain, find out what these amazing creatures do for our ecosystems and what it’s like to live with them!


4:00 - 5:00pm - to be announced!


The talks tent will be hosted by presenter Jacob Burley. As a host, comedian, and filmmaker, Jacob is a dedicated entertainer with a limitless fascination for the natural world.  He can be found waxing lyrical about wildlife, landscape, and history either on stage, on the internet, or to anyone that will listen.


Find out more about Festival of Nature 9th-18th June 2023 here.