​Arts & Culture

Planet Purbeck’s green festival captures ‘magic and wonder of nature’ for 3,400+ visitors across the isle

Wild swimming off the Isle of Purbeck.

By Daniel Face [email protected]

Published: October 26, 2023 | Updated: 26th October 2023

Last month, more than 3,400 people gathered in Purbeck to celebrate the isle’s unique natural world.

Planet Purbeck logoOrganised by Planet Purbeck in collaboration with over 90 local businesses and organisations, the 10-day festival saw events hosted in 40 different locations across Purbeck’s towns and villages.

This year, the focus was on community empowerment and nature recovery, with the headline Big Burnbake Camp Out bringing together local food, live music, foraging walks and woodland camping.

Visitors heard too from guest speakers Steve Allnutt from Sussex Seabed Restoration Project, whose talk centred around rewilding the seas, as well as author and TV presenter Nadeem Perera, who spoke to sold out audiences at Swanage’s Mowlem Theatre.

Man and boy high fiving at festivalLuke M Luke from Planet Purbeck said: “Our festival helps ignite the magic and wonder of nature, creating unforgettable experiences and the chance to discover something new.

“We’re thrilled that almost 80 per cent of attendees gained fresh insights into protecting our local environment, with nearly 60 per cent stating they’re inspired to get involved and take positive action.”

Local indie filmmaker Sue Western also screened her latest film, ‘Let’s Go Wild’, exploring the connection between nature and children in Purbeck.

It’s now set to tour local schools, including Wareham St Mary Primary School and St Marks in Swanage.

Sue WesternSue said: “I was blown away by the wisdom and insights of Purbeck’s children and young people.

“They love connecting with insects and flowers and they want to be outside more. They’re telling us grown-ups to make that more possible.

“Maybe we’ve been leaving that thing we call ‘nature’ to other people to look after.

“But each one of us can have a role – it doesn’t matter how small – in bringing mini wildlife experiences into our everyday lives.

“We all need sparkles of joy!”

This year’s festival saw support from Talbot Village Trust, Kathy Hollidge, Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), Natural England and Natural Trust.

Smiling boy holding a mushroom in the woodsCaroline Cooban, CEO at Talbot Village Trust, added: “We’ve been delighted to support Planet Purbeck throughout their three festivals in their endeavour to create lasting positive impact by bringing people together.

“From engaging guest speakers to live music, entertainment and foraging, the festival offers something for everyone, while gathering community support to raise awareness and celebrate Purbeck’s outstanding natural environment.”

So, what’s next for Planet Purbeck?

The team are currently putting together a public report from surveys of festivalgoers, due in early 2024.

They’re also planning a rich programme of activities for children and young people in Purbeck which is set to arrive next September.

Read more – Arts University Bournemouth sets up (pop-up) shop in The Dolphin Poole

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