Wye Valley Festival 2020

Wye So Special?

Dear Partners and Wye Valley River Festival Supporters

As you may know we were unable to hold Wye Valley River Festival in May 2020. However, I am delighted to announce that we intend to hold a new kind of Wye Valley River Festival (WVRF) in September 2020. It has taken us a little time to reflect, re-imagine and pave the way forward in line with restrictions on public gatherings, while maintaining the creative roots of the Festival. To that end, the Wye Valley AONB Unit and the Festival team: Artistic Directors; Desperate Men & Festival Director; Phillippa Haynes, aim to hold a predominantly on line Festival from the 21st September – 27th September 2020, with hyperlocal small community happenings, where possible.

An online Festival offers new opportunities to communicate creatively about the work we all do to conserve and enhance the landscape that we work and live in.

The theme for the Festival in 2020 is ‘Time’ and we will utilise that theme to think about what the future of the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean landscapes could be like if we all act in a timely manner to conserve them.

We are looking for enthusiastic partners to join with us and be part of the Festival. We want to showcase what you and fellow environmental, recreational professionals and volunteers do and to communicate this with a broader audience through the arts.

What we intend to do and how you can take part

The Festival team want to create a series of short films created by you. The films will be shown on platforms and social media throughout the Festival week, building towards an interactive streamed live discussion event. We are looking for people willing to make a short film and take part in the live streamed event. You do not have to do both but if you can that would be great.

This element of the Festival is an opportunity to personalise some of the initiatives that are happening in the valley, showing the faces and personalities behind the work. We want you to inspire the next generation of conservationists and with your stories and increase people’s connection to the natural world.

What kind of short pre-recorded films do we want you to create?

We want you to share your passion for nature and landscape, by talking about what you enjoy about the Wye Valley/ Forest of Dean or an element of wildlife or outdoor recreation, how it brings you closer to nature, how it feeds you personally.

We want you to outline who you are and what you do in terms of conserving the natural environment and a little about how you would like to see the environment of the future. Feel free to film outdoors undertaking an activity that demonstrates your passion, throw in a few interesting facts or personal observations. We want this to feel as informal as possible, even if contributors are representing an organisation, make it more personal than you normally would to match the Wye Valley River Festival ethos. If you watched Spring Watch this year, you will have seen how this informal filming was used to make a highly engaging programme using readily available kit. Our filming master class will help you to master this powerful form of communication.

You are invited to join a digital filming masterclass: Date 18th of August Time: 2:30pm

This training will be delivered by Camilla Adams (Cam for short) our Wye Valley River Festival Film maker. Cam will take you through the practicalities of making a small film on your phone or tablet. This will be an interactive session held on Zoom and you will be able to ask questions. We then want you to go out and make your film and return it to us by Friday the 28th of August so that it can be prepared for the Festival web site.

If you cannot attend on this date we can send you a recording of the event for you to watch in your own time.

The films will be hosted on the Wye Valley River Festival (WVRF) web site

The films will be premiered as an event on WVRF web site, and through social media. The premiere will be a live streamed bookable event.

The live streamed event will include a discussion, and will focus around the following questions: (TBC depending on reliable tech support- likely to be 21/22/23 September)

“Describe your achievable positive vision for the future of the natural environment in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean?”

“What do we need to understand, create and implement to turn your aspirations into reality?”

The discussion will be led by a facilitator and where required bits of film or stills will be popped in to illustrate points. The discussion will be opened to the public, who will be able to pose questions via a chat board.

What do you need to do next? Book a place deadline 10th of August

Sign up for the filming masterclass by emailing myself and Cam. [email protected] & [email protected]

Let us know the make and model of your tablet or phone.

Let us know if you would like to be sent the recording of the masterclass.

Send us the email address you want to use for the masterclass.

Call if you would like further information.

Cam is filming 3 films in addition to this offer. The films are focused on: Landscape conservation: Meadows- Monmouthshire Meadows and Herefordshire Meadows Network; Species conservation- Beavers at Lydbrook , and re-connecting people to wildlife- Foresters’ Forest Project.

Thank you for your interest in Wye Valley River Festival to date. Cam and I are looking forward to welcoming you to take part in this exciting element of the project.

If you think this opportunity would suit another member of your organisation then do please let us know we would be happy to welcome them to the project.

Best regards


Sarah Sawyer

Community Links Officer
Wye Valley AONB
Hadnock Road
NP25 3NG

Tel: 07956 452 770

01600 710 844