NATURE lovers are in for a treat this weekend, with the return of Stroud’s Big Nature Festival.
The family friendly event, which has been running since 2008, takes place among the trees in the arboretum at Stratford Park, on Sunday, July 7, from 11am to 5pm.
Visitors will be able to meet bee, bird, insect, butterfly, moth and bat experts, and find out more about how to get involved with our local groups Stroud Valleys Project, Gloucestershire Wildlife and National Trust.
One of this year’s highlights is a special photography exhibition.
Entitled Photography for Wellbeing, it is a showcase of over 150 nature-related images created by people who took part in the ‘Look Again Photography for Wellbeing’ project.
Each participant has selected their favourite photographs to be shown.
The collection is the culmination of four six-week mindful photography courses.
Course leader, Stroud-based photographer and social entrepreneur Ruth Davey, said: “The course blends photography, mindfulness and nature to help people increase confidence and self-esteem, improve their mental health and wellbeing, reduce social isolation and loneliness.
“Each course also aims for those participating to build connections with others as well as their environment and to learn new skills.
“The impact of the course is far reaching on both a practical and personal level.”
One course participant said: “I feel it’s my grounding for my week – some time out from the madness of life.
“I’m starting to feel more confident about my artistic abilities and enthusiastic to do more photography.”
Ruth Davey, the founder and director of Look Again, has delivered this project in partnership with Stroud Nature, with financial support from a Thriving Communities grant from Gloucestershire County Council’s Adult Social Care.
There will be a free taster mindful photography workshop at the exhibition, from 2pm to 3pm, with 10 places available.
To book a place email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the project, workshops, courses and training on how mindful photography can help to improve mental heath and wellbeing in the workplace and in the community, please visit or www.look-again.org.