The Origins (part 2)

Posted on:

All projects need a great team. At Green Man 2017, we assembled a small group of amazing people.

We worked together to bring the natural science element to the fore,using the local environment as a resource. The idea was to utilise the field for Land Art and the collection of samples for a 5 senses treasure hunt.

We took microscopes into a field tent, created slides from what we found and saw the absolutely, magical reaction from the festival goers.

As well as Andrew and I, there was Alis, a BSc student who specialised in honey and bees, what an asset to the Pollination Station!

David Llewelyn PhD an ex-colleague of Andrew’s now working in the field of public environmental engagement and a more vibrant, enthusiastic person you could not meet! David’s son, Steffan Llewellyn PhD another scientist, demonstrating huge patience and care with young people using the scopes for the first time.

Along came the wonderfully positive, Andrew Barratt studying for his BSc at Cardiff Met, who with great energy and enthusiasm engaged superbly with both the general public and the TV company BBC Wales show “Heno” in Cymraeg. Last, but not least ,Sian Westcombe, an online IT learning specialist who with utmost dedication worked with very young children to play the “Mis-BEE-having Game”.

Frankly, it was exhausting. We met thousands  of people and engaged with them all, whilst battling torrential downpours… and wearing fairy wings and a flower crown. ( Just me).

We also had a microscope stolen one night ( how very Middle Class) , which everyone was surprised at..especially when it magically re-appeared the next day entirely unharmed! We wondered what small things they were looking at?

We laughed a LOT though, and there were many moments that made it all worthwhile. We saw a tardigrade (water bear), we photographed the incredibly beautiful pollen grains and then presented the 3D printed models to the festival goers. It’s safe to say that we got as much from it as they did , being moved to tears by people who saw the wonders of the microscopic world for the first time, possibly fostering a life-long interest in the natural world.

Late in 2017 we were presented with an opportunity, by happy circumstance, to acquire the Candleston Castle Campsite at Merthyr Mawr  to take our dream further. We realised that the ethos was unable to develop unless we were working with free reign for our ideas.  I’d previously visited the site at Merthyr Mawr, it was not only an S.S.S.I, but set within a woodland, ideal for our purposes.

We spoke to the site managers and within an hour it was booked! Our next-door-neighbour and Electro- Wizard Gareth Clarke, said that he would like to be part of the team, along with the incredible Alexander Wigmore (Website and logo designer) and we had an actual Festival Committee. Meetings are held weekly in our local pub in a very relaxed way, next to roaring fire, with  lovely real ale (or in my case, a nice cup of tea) and possibly some chips…

Between The Trees Festival was growing, changing and evolving…