Festival of the Environment to ‘inspire and challenge’

A three-day festival all about the environment, living sustainably and the natural world takes place at Tonbridge School’s EM Forster Theatre next month.

The event, bringing together authors, writers, explorers, bloggers, politicians, artists and campaigners, will run between Friday 4 and Sunday 6 October. It aims to inspire, challenge and entertain all age groups, with a range of events including panel discussions, writing workshops, talks, performances, a film festival and photography exhibition.

Tonbridge Talks: A Festival of the Environment is jointly organised by the theatre’s manager, Kat Portman Smith, and local businesswoman Amanda Carpenter, and follows on from last year’s successful Deeds and Words Festival of Women’s Voices.

Confirmed speakers across the weekend include BAFTA-winning English naturalist, writer and television presenter Steve Backshall, Arctic explorer Pen Hadow, Head of Corporate Sustainability for BNP Paribas, Anjuli Pandit, and poet and writer Anthony Wilson.

Visitors can also view the Environmental Photographer of the Year exhibition in the OBS Gallery at Tonbridge School, which runs alongside the festival.

Kat Portman Smith said: “The environment and living sustainably are issues that affect all of us, so we really hope that audiences of all ages and interests will find something in this packed programme. Lots of events are free or £5, so we would encourage people to drop in over the weekend, have a coffee, view the exhibition, watch a free performance and maybe listen to a talk or take part in a workshop.”

Other speakers include David Hone, Chief Climate Advisor for Shell UK; Gareth Redman King, Head of Climate Change, WWF; April Clark, Green Party Tonbridge; author Peter Fiennes; Emma Ross, a blogger on Sustainable Family Living, and horticulturist Sarah Wilson.

Amanda Carpenter added: “Time is running out and we face a climate emergency. This festival offers advice, inspiration and encouragement to take action and make changes to save the planet.”

For a full schedule, times, and tickets, see www.tonbridgetalks.com and www.emftheatre.com 

Pictured below, from top: Steve Backshall, Pen Hadow and Emma Ross.