It became apparent that we all have a lot of links and different ways of connecting with nature but we at the University of Derby realised that there was a need to find new ways of offering insights into our activities. We were convinced of the health and wellbeing benefits of engagement with nature and we were trying to find ways of sharing that.
We looked at examples like Project Wild Thing and Age of Stupid as ways to raise awareness but also use the Arts and different activities to make research in this area engaging and fun. A conference was set up in March 2014 with an arts exhibition. The conference was well attended and from it, we developed a discussion with NGOs and charities where we could find common ground and inspiration.
We wanted to demonstrate and share the research and interests of different departments of the university and this then evolved into a plan for a festival. The festival has now become an annual event that in its second year 2016 will be bigger better and even more interactive.