Literary luminaries line-up for The Wildlife Trusts’ Big Wild Weekend from Friday 18th to Sunday 20th June

Bookworms, campers and quiz lovers can enjoy the fun of a nature festival – at home – with The Wildlife Trusts’ virtual Big Wild Weekend

The Wildlife Trusts are hosting a three-day online summer extravaganza – including an impressive line-up of nature-loving writers, all sharing just how much they are inspired by the wild – at a new literary event on YouTube, Friday 18 June.

  • Lucy Jones is a journalist and author, regularly writing for BBC Earth, The Guardian and the Independent. Her second book, Losing Eden: Why our Minds Need The Wild, explores the relationship between the natural world and the human psyche.
  • Brigit Strawbridge-Howard is a bee advocate, wildlife gardener and naturalist. Her book, Dancing with Bees – a journey back to nature, is a charming and eloquent account of her return to noticing and reconnecting with the natural world.
  • Adam Nicolson is a journalist and author of books on history, landscape and nature. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Society of Antiquaries in Scotland and the author of books including The Seabird’s Cry.
  • Lamorna Ash is a regular contributor to The Times Literary Supplement and author of Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town, a captivating, lyrical and revealing portrait of life in a Cornish fishing port.
  • Alice Vincent is features editor at Penguin Books, having previously worked as a writer and editor on the arts desk of the Telegraph. Alice’s books include How To Grow Stuff and Rootbound, a memoir and botanical guide.

The online event will be hosted by Craig Bennett, chief executive of The Wildlife Trusts, and guest judge for The Wainwright Prize which celebrates the best in nature writing.

The Big Wild Weekend is part of The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild challenge to do something wild every day in June. This year a record-breaking 730,000 people are estimated to be taking part in 30 Days Wild. The special weekend events are all free:

  • FRIDAY 18TH AT 7.30PM: LIVE TALK: WRITERS INSPIRED BY NATURE
  • SATURDAY 19TH ALL EVENING, FROM 5PM: BIG WILD CAMP-OUT
  • SUNDAY 20TH AT 7PM: BIG WILD QUIZ

FRIDAY 18 JUNE AT 7.30pm – Writers inspired by nature

Join a glittering line-up of much-loved writers to explore how nature has motivated their work and touched their lives. The panel will be hosted by The Wildlife Trusts’ chief executive Craig Bennett who is also a guest judge for The Wainwright Prize. A chance for bookworms to get intimate with authors in an evening of insight, inspiration and anecdote.

SATURDAY 19 JUNE FROM 7pm Big Wild Camp-out

Thousands of Big Wild Weekenders will join in a huge back garden camp-out, supported with fun social media posts on Twitter and Facebook. There’ll be an easy owl pancakes recipe to keep the festival spirit alive, birdsong at the press of a button, plus The Wildlife Trusts’ beautiful moth identification sheets for those feeling adventurous.  Wild Weekenders are also in with a chance to win a rucksack from Cotswold Outdoors*. Get creative with a wild festival camp outdoors at home, or an indoor nature-themed den! Additional prizes for the best wild setup. Join the fun on Facebook when you register!

SUNDAY 20 JUNE AT 3pm AND 7pm Big Wild Quiz

Join us at 3pm on Facebook for a special children’s quiz with BAFTA award-winning TV presenter and director Maddie Moate and science presenter and producer Greg Foot. Then at 7pm it’s the Big Wild Quiz via Facebook Live, hosted by actor and environmentalist David Oakes, and zoologist Sophie Pavelle. Special guest and nation’s favourite GP Dr Amir Khan, will pose science and natural history questions, joined by actor and DJ Cel Spelman and ornithologist and environmental campaigner Mya-Rose Craig. The public can get involved in these fun, interactive quizes.

For the full weekend programme and registration, visit: wildlifetrusts.org/big-wild-weekend. Join in on social media with #30DaysWild. Follow @WildlifeTrusts on Twitter and Instagram. The live talk Writers Inspired by Nature will be premiered on YouTube, while the Camp-out and Quiz will be hosted over on Facebook.

Abbie Hargreaves, 30 Days Wild lead for The Wildlife Trusts, says:

“All good bookworms know that the best stories create magical worlds where we can lose ourselves, regenerate our souls and rewild our imagination. Join us for a Big Wild Weekend and hear first-hand how secret wild places, hidden natural gems, journeys amongst the trees and adventures on the high seas all inspire writing and writers at key moments in their lives. We’ve also got the retune of our hugely successful Big Wild Camp out under the stars and a fun quiz event too. Register for your free fun today!”