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Highlights of the 2015 programme include the opening event, an exclusive evening with the festival’s patron and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, and Gillian Clarke, National Poet of Wales. Over a light supper, and with musical accompaniment, our foremost poets will be sharing their favourite passages of nature writing and will be reading extracts from their own work.

Award winning novelist Evie Wyld, whose second novel All The Birds, Singing has hit the short and long lists of every major prize this year, will be speaking on Saturday 25th July in the evening.

Sunday 26th sees Jackie Bennett, gardener and journalist discussing 20 inspiring gardens created by our most famous writers, followed by TV chef and author Valentine Warner treating festivalgoers to a revealing talk on nature’s bountiful larder and its inspiration in the kitchen. That morning will see a foraging event, with edible plants picked from Nidderdale’s hedgerows, to be included in a dish prepared by Valentine at his event. The festival closes with Herdwick Shepherd, James Rebanks, whose tale of life as a shepherd in the Lake District has been one of this year’s literary phenomenons.


Children of all ages are invited to participate at NiddFest with events to suit even the littlest visitors. Saturday 25 July will see a morning of arts, crafts and face painting, with ‘Best Bug’ awards for the cleverest crafters.

511 year olds will be invited to an exciting afternoon in the woods, including woodland games and activities, a lesson on building the perfect outdoor den and hot chocolate and marshmallows around the campfire. For families, a day trip to Studfold Adventure Trail is on offer. Set in a hidden valley in Upper Nidderdale, this full day adventure has a focus on bugs and all things creepy crawly!

Leading childrens’ authors Piers Torday and Michelle Harrison will be reading from their award winning books on Saturday 25 July. Michelle’s event will be followed by the prize giving for the NiddFest Poetry Prize, open to all Yorkshire schoolchildren. Winners will receive their awards from Carol Ann Duffy.


Visitors will be encouraged to step beyond the traditional festival venue and explore the dramatic landscape of Upper Nidderdale. Highlights from the outdoor programme including a morning of foraging with wild food expert Chris Bax, a walk along the banks of the river Nidd to learn about the fragile ecosystem, and a safari to the far reaches of Upper Nidderdale to explore the wild moorland, and a birding walk with Mark Cocker, following his talk on humankind’s relationship with birds.

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