Look out for a dinosaur …

ORGANISERS of this year’s Earthfest are promising a “truly extraordinary” start to the celebration of nature, with the opening of a dinosaur garden in Emersons Green Park.

The festival is expanding from its previous incarnation as a one-day event to include a range of activities over four weeks, from May 25 to June 22.

Founded in 2021 as the Three Greens Festival, the event organised by the Friends of Emersons Green Park was reborn as Earthfest last year.

The Friends have been hard at work installing a living willow dinosaur, named Dinomite, next to the park’s willow domes.

Modelled on a saltasaurus, one of the titanosaurs that roamed the Earth 100 million years ago, Dinomite will eventually be surrounded by trees and ferns from the same era, to create a ‘dinosaur garden’.

Earthfest lead organiser Chris Sunderland said: “This year we want Earthfest to be truly extraordinary and the opening of our dinosaur garden on May 28 will be a great moment.

“On the same day we will also have a special family show called A Little Bird Told Me in Lyde Green Community Centre, with storyteller Michael Loader and musician Fiona Barrow.

“Then the festival opens out into a range of events over the following month, culminating in a picnic in the park on June 22, featuring music by Flautet, Clube de Choro and a song written and performed by Emersons Green Primary school.”

The festival includes talks from wildlife experts Ed Drewitt and Steve England, an evening for vegetable growers with ‘no dig’ advocate Charles Dowding, sensory walks among trees led by a team from Westonbirt Arboretum, and events on nature photography, renewable energy and the life of swifts. 

A rock competition will encourage children to become amateur rock collectors and put their finds on display in Emersons Green library, to be examined at an event with a geologist from Bristol Naturalists Society.

Organisers have also created an ‘Earth Trail’ in the park, with QR codes placed on six posts around the park for visitors to scan and listen recordings telling the history of the Earth, which will be launched on June 4.

Chris, who has helped create the trail, said: “For me this has been the most exciting part of preparing for this year’s festival.

“I don’t think anything like the Earth Trail has been done before. It is a new attempt to bring science to life and make our relationship with the Earth truly meaningful. And, of course, it includes dinosaurs!”

More details of May’s Earthfest events are on page 24 of this month’s Voice.

A full programme can be found online at friendsofemersonsgreenpark.com. All events are free and many can be booked in advance.