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RHS ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH STUDIOCANAL FOR THE SECRET GARDEN

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced a major collaboration with STUDIOCANAL to celebrate the forthcoming family film The Secret Garden. Set for release in April 2020, the film will be brought to life by the world’s leading gardening charity across its famed Gardens, Flower Shows and nationwide initiatives including the Campaign for School Gardening.

A new take on the much-loved novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, THE SECRET GARDEN tells the story of Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx – Genius, The Little Stranger and A Royal Winter), a prickly and unloved 10-year-old girl, born in India to wealthy British parents. When they die unexpectedly, she is sent back to England to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven (Academy Award® and BAFTA-winner Colin Firth – A Single Man, The King’s Speech, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Bridget Jones’s Baby) on his remote country estate deep in the Yorkshire moors, under the watchful eye of Mrs Medlock (BAFTA-winner Julie Walters – Mary Poppins Returns, Harry Potter, Mamma Mia) and with only  the household maid, Martha (Isis Davis – Guilt, Electric Dreams) for company. Mary begins to uncover many family secrets, particularly after meeting her sickly cousin Colin (Edan Hayhurst – Genius, There She Goes), who has been shut away in a wing of the house, and through her discovery of a wondrous garden, locked away and lost within the grounds of Misselthwaite Manor. While searching for Hector, the stray dog who had led Mary to the garden walls, she befriends local boy Dickon (Amir Wilson – His Dark Materials, The Kid Who Would Be King) who, through the garden’s restorative powers, helps her to fix Hector’s injured leg. Together, these three damaged, slightly misfit children heal each other as they delve deeper into the mysteries of the garden – a magical place of adventure that will change their lives forever.

Inspired by the film’s key themes of friendship, wonder, magic and healing, the collaboration between the RHS and STUDIOCANAL will give people of all ages an opportunity to explore the many ways in which gardens and gardening can help us connect with each other, and improve our physical and mental wellbeing through the magic of growing.

Young gardeners across the nation will be encouraged to unlock their imagination and try their hand at designing their own Secret Garden for the chance to have elements of their design recreated in their school or community. Details of how to enter will be available on the RHS Campaign for School Gardening website, at RHS Gardens and selected RHS Partner Gardens.

From 21 March to 3 May at RHS Garden Rosemoor, families can discover areas of the gardens they may never have visited before on the trail of six hidden keys. A range of inspiring workshops (30 March – 10 April) will encourage both adults and children to try out gardening tasks, arts and crafts and other creative activities and a range of branded books will be available to buy from the Gift Shop.

Families will also have the opportunity to discover the magic of gardening with The Secret Garden-themed workshops at RHS Flower Show Cardiff (17-19 April), RHS Chatsworth Flower Show (11-14 June), RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival (6-12 July) and RHS Flower Show Tatton Park (22-26 July).

Wild About Gardens, the joint campaign by the RHS and The Wildlife Trusts aiming to raise awareness of how to support garden-dwelling creatures, is also inspired by The Secret Garden for 2020. The focus will be on helping people learn about butterflies, with a booklet and online experience demonstrating how to attract these valuable pollinators to the garden by creating a butterfly box or border.

The Secret Garden is a wonderful story about the power of gardens to heal and bring people together – something all of us at the RHS truly believe in,” says Amanda Cole, Head of Marketing at the RHS. “When STUDIOCANAL approached us about this collaboration we knew immediately that it would resonate with our members and visitors, and we are delighted to be bringing the movie to life through our Gardens, Shows and campaigns. This biggest-ever brand partnership for the RHS will reach thousands of people and we hope that it will inspire them to discover a secret garden of their own.”

Stuart Henderson, Head of UK Marketing for STUDIOCANAL, adds: “We are delighted to be working with The Royal Horticultural Society on this far-reaching partnership. The young characters in The Secret Garden find their lives transformed when they engage with the natural world around them, demonstrating how outdoor spaces can help all of us improve our wellbeing – all of which makes the RHS the perfect partner for the new film. We are excited to work with them on this partnership, promoting the positive benefits of engagement with gardens and bringing this timeless story to the big screen for a new generation.”

The Secret Garden will be in cinemas nationwide from 13 April 2020.

LADY MAISERY BRINGING CREATIVITY TO TRADITIONAL SONG

Vocal folk trio Lady Maisery (Hazel Askew, Hannah James and Rowan Rheingans) will be performing at Halsway Manor on Thursday 20 February at 8pm. They are rising stars on the folk and acoustic music scene. With modern and intelligent arrangements of traditional songs sitting comfortably alongside original compositions, the trio show how skilled they are at bringing ballads and folk tales to vivid life.

The artists are also accomplished instrumentalists and many songs are expertly accompanied by a rich tapestry of Rowan’s fiddle, banjo and bansitar, Hazel’s harp and concertina and Hannah’s accordion and foot percussion. The use of distinctive harmony which underpins their performances will be a particular theme at this performance which is part of the band’s popular Creative Singing Week at Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts near Taunton.

The trio have toured widely, over the last five years, performing sell-out shows across the UK and Europe. With three albums under their belt and what The Guardian have called “some of the most exquisite, thrilling vocal harmony work in the English folk scene” they are back to the West Country to share their knowledge with budding singers and musicians at Halsway Manor who will perform alongside them at this intimate Thursday-evening performance which is open to all.

Tickets are recommended in advance priced £10 adult and £4 student. Book online at halswaymanor.org.uk

 

KINGSLEY SCHOOLS CLIMATE CHANGE TEACHER ACCREDITED BY UNITED NATIONS

Steve Whaley, Head of Geography at Kingsley School Bideford, has become one of the first teachers in the UK to be a UN accredited Climate Change Teacher.

Mr Steve Whaley has been working hard to become an eduCCate Global Climate Change Teacher, accredited by UN CC:Learn. Mr Whaley can now deliver world-class climate change lessons to all pupils at Kingsley School and, through lesson observations and staff training, plans to share information and best practice with all teaching staff, so they too can take part in this new initiative. He will also continue to deliver climate change education through the geography lessons and his many extra-curricular activities.

Steve says, “As a keen environmentalist I was delighted to get the opportunity to deepen my knowledge and understanding of climate change. Achieving the United Nations accreditation was a challenging process of many different learning mediums and formal assessments but ultimately has left me far more informed and able to educate the students in my care.

“The timing is spot on, with climate change being at the fore of current affairs and with the launch of the Earth Centre at Kingsley.

“For the next century to be a success for humankind, environmental sustainability needs to be at the core of everything we do.  Our earth is creaking, and the big question: ‘Can the planet support and enable a population of 10 billion people to live contented and flourishing lives?’ remains unanswered. Being an accredited UN Climate Change Teacher and the launch of the new of the Earth Centre puts environmental sustainability at the heart of school life here at
Kingsley: increasing awareness, asking the right questions and developing the future leaders and practitioners for the future.“

Steve Whaley continued: “Climate change has been in the curriculum for years. The information I learnt on the course is astonishing and we really need to provide our students with the up-to-the-minute knowledge on climate change so we can empower them to make the decisions that can make a difference.”

The UN Climate Change Teacher Academy is being delivered by Harwood Education, in partnership with the One United Nations Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn). Teachers will be able to teach pupils vital lessons about climate change and earn certification from the United Nations.

ROSEMOOR GLOW 2019

The winter at the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) Garden Rosemoor in Devon is always a treat and is one of the most beautiful sights in all seasons. This year, visitors can see the garden illuminated by innovative and dynamic colour-changing lighting to provide a magical festive trail around the trees, shrubs, water features and sculptures, along a new route which will this year include the Cool Garden for the first time with its rippling water rills and once again extended to The Lake.

On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between now and 4 January (excl. 26 December) the gardens will be open until 8pm to maximise the effects of the lighting into the evening hours, and on those days, normal garden entry includes Glow (free for RHS members) so you can enjoy a full day out seeing the gardens and sculptures by day and then also by night.

The award-winning Garden Kitchen Restaurant will be serving  delicious simple family suppers 5-7pm, (booking is highly recommended to avoid disappointment). Take advantage of late-night shopping as the Rosemoor Shop & Plant Centre will remain open until 8pm too on these nights and will be the place to go for all those Christmas Gift and plant ideas.

Other events taking place:

Rosemoor’s extremely popular annual Winter Sculpture Exhibition will also be up and running from 14 November to 31 January. Last year, over 50,000 visitors enjoyed the eclectic mix of exhibits that are set against the backdrop of the garden. This year, the exhibition has been freshened up with a high proportion of new artists. Most of the sculptures featured in the exhibition are for sale.

To make the most of a visit to Rosemoor there is also a special Winter Wonders Garden Trail which includes many specimens from our national collection of hollies and featuring key highlighted plants and shrubs around the garden.

22-24 November
Christmas Design for Living Fair
The Garden Room will be full of the South West’s best craftspeople making it the ideal place to snap up an early Christmas present or two. Combining with Rosemoor Glow Friday & Saturday it will be open late 11am-7pm making it feel like a proper Christmas Market, whilst on Sunday it is open 10am-4pm when you can take advantage of Rosemoor’s delicious carvery.

14 and 15 December
Magic of Christmas Food & Craft Fair
A magical fair full of temptation and delights, from a mixture of artisan food and craft stalls. Combining with Rosemoor Glow, on the Saturday it will be open late 11am-7pm, making it feel like another wonderful Christmas Market, whilst on Sunday it is open 10am-4pm when you can take advantage of Rosemoor’s renowned Exmoor beef carvery.

8, 15, 18 and 22 December
Christmas Lunches
The Garden Kitchen restaurant will be serving delicious Christmas Carvery lunches between 12-3pm (Sundays), 12-2.30pm (Wednesday).

20-23 December
Father Christmas and his elves family experience (ticketed event)
There is of course only one real Father Christmas! This year, before he heads out on his sleigh, he will be here at RHS Garden Rosemoor to entertain your family with a festive storytelling session in his magical workshop theatre. He’ll be joined by his elves who will teach children Santa’s favourite Christmas song and help them to make a beautiful decoration for their Christmas Tree. Your family will have the opportunity to meet some of Santa’s Reindeer and of course, each family will get the chance to meet the big man himself.

Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the memory. Online booking is essential to avoid disappointment. On 20 and 21 December, why not combine your visit with the Glow event for a wonderful family day out.

Every visit supports the charitable work of the RHS. For more information on events Rosemoor visit www.rhs.org.uk/rosemoor Normal garden admission applies (free for RHS members). Garden open every day (except Christmas Day) 10am-5pm.

KLEZWEST! LONDON KLEZMER QUARTET

The London Klezmer Quartet are celebrating ten years of traditional European folk music and invite you to join them at Halsway Manor, National Centre for Folk Arts, to delve deeply into the world of freylekhs, bulgars, zhoks, khosidls and terkishers – the dance music repertoire of Eastern Europe! The event takes place at Halsway on Saturday 30 November at 8pm.

Klezmer is the celebratory and soulful music of Eastern European Jews, played for weddings, parties, and celebrations. It is exuberant, passionate and can take you from toe tapping to tears and back again. The London Klezmer Quartet, are leading lights in this style of music, playing with compelling virtuosity.

Musicians can join them for a whole weekend of workshops to learn this style of music – be quick though, this course is nearly sold out – or  help them celebrate their anniversary gig at Halsway Manor on Saturday 30 November.

Tickets for the concert cost £12. Buy securely online at www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

MORE EXCITEMENT FOR WEST COUNTRY BLACKSMITHS AT HOME AND AWAY

It has been an exciting time for Exmoor-based craftsmen West Country Blacksmiths who were featured on Grand Designs last week (read more here).

For another high-profile commission, they have also recently produced over 750 bespoke stainless-steel flowers and 4,500 leaves for the prestigious Chelsea Barracks development, built on the former Army barracks which was brought by the Qatari Diar.

The blacksmiths were awarded the unique opportunity to work in collaboration with London-based designer Tord Boontje to develop the designs and make the metalwork used to decorate the Townhouse balustrades of the development.

Each balcony of the development has a different combination of 12 flowers – all commonly found in Britain. The flowers include wild roses, garden roses, winter roses, almond blossoms, carnations, peonies, cosmos, violets and anemones.

The blacksmiths received high praise for this project and were pleased to welcome a team from Chelsea Barracks to film them at work for promotional materials and a documentary due in 2020.

Designer Tord Boontje said,  “Nowadays, it’s not so common to find blacksmiths – and especially really good ones. The better the blacksmith is, the higher the quality of the craftsmanship and the more beautifully my designs will be translated. So I spent a lot of time researching blacksmiths in Britain, and visited many different workshops.

“Eventually, I struck on West Country Blacksmiths, an exciting and accomplished team of metalworkers operating out of a seventeenth-century forge in Somerset. “They are a very highly skilled, energetic young team who are a pleasure to work with. And they have a very nice way of interpreting my designs and making them into metal.”

Closer to home, West Country Blacksmiths have restored the weathervane on the bell tower of the Market House Museum in Watchet as part of the museum’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

The wrought-iron and copper weathervane has been a feature of the Watchet rooftops for over 32 years. However, both time and exposure to the sea air had taken its toll on the weathervane, damaging the copper sailing boat and corroding the metalwork.

Allerford Forge were commissioned to restore the weathervane by the museum committee and fully funded by the Watchet Market House Museum.

The craftmen removed the weathervane for a short period to allow the ship’s sails to be replaced and the remaining copperwork to be cleaned and repaired. The smiths also restored the mainframe of the weathervane by removing over 30 years of rust and paint from the metalwork, reforging missing and damaged components and weld repairing where required.

Once the repairs were completed the blacksmiths galvanised and heritage black painted the brackets and repatinated the copper top.

The weathervane was reinstalled by the team in October and it is hoped to be there for many more years to come.

The weathervane is owned by the museum and was first installed in the bell tower in 1987, replacing a plain one which is now displayed on the lighthouse in the harbour.

HALSWAY CONCERT: ANNE NIEPOLD AND RICCARDO TESI

Halsway Manor is delighted to present an evening concert with two extraordinarily gifted and influential European musicians, Anne Niepold and Riccardo Tesi on Thursday 17 October at 8pm. Both are considered amongst the greatest living exponents of the diatonic button accordion (melodeon), though their styles and repertoire vary greatly.

Anne Niepold is a familiar name to many at Halsway, having tutored at several courses at the Manor; this will be Riccardo Tesi‘s first visit to Halsway, and a rare chance to see him play in the UK. Both Anne and Ricardo are tutoring on a week-long Melodeon Workshop for advanced/intermediate players at the Manor, in addition to performing around the UK.

Anne Niepold is a renowned musician and composer. Having started in the world of traditional music, she developed an interest in improvised music and studied jazz composition and arrangement at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, where she won her Masters degree as well as the prestigious Toots Thielemans Jazz Award. Anne will be debuting material from her new album Vita Brevis.

“Anne is an incredible diatonic accordion player. Nothing scares her. She knows no limits. On the contrary, she magnifies the constraints of her accordion with impressive results.” Accordéon et Accordéonistes magazine

Riccardo Tesi is an internationally acclaimed accordion player and composer, and one of the most daring and authoritative musicians on the European world music scene. He has an instantly recognisable style, drawing on ancient and modern musical languages, he has widened the vocabulary and the technique of an instrument that has long been associated with traditional music. Over 35 years he has played with world music artists such as Elena Ledda, Justin Vali, Kepa Junkera, John Kirkpatrick and Patrick Vaillant, jazz musicians Gianluigi Trovesi and Gabriele Mirabassi, and great songwriters such as Ivano Fossati, Fabrizio De Andrè and Gian Maria Testa. Leader of Banditaliana , one of the most renowned Italian groups on the world music international scene , and member of Samurai, all stars quintet of European accordion players, he has played in the most important jazz and folk festivals all over Europe, Australia, Canada and Japan.

Tickets are priced £10; £4 student concessions. Buy securely online at www.halswaymanor.org.uk.

PHOTO: ®JPohl

DUNSTER BEACH HUT URGES OTHERS TO JOIN THE PLASTIC FREE REVOLUTION

Salad Days and Holi Moli, two multi-award-winning 5-star beach huts at Dunster Beach, have received further recognition, this time by Surfers against Sewage and Plastic Free Minehead & West Somerset.

“The two beach huts have a long list of awards, but this one is really special,” said Brett Bates, who co-owns the beach huts with his partner Susan Juggins. “We have always been environmentally conscious, during the refurbishment and the running of both our huts, but when we got involved with Plastic Free Minehead & West Somerset, an environmental action group run by Surfers Against Sewage as part of their Plastic Free Communities campaign, we decided we could go one step further and make our little green huts just a little bit greener.”

Dunster Beach Huts looked at all their processes and supplies to see how they could become as single-use-plastic-free as possible. Brett said, “Some areas were easier than others; for example, we have always done beach cleans inspired by 2 Minute Beach Clean, so we now actively encourage our guests and social media followers to do their own beach cleans, and the ‘David Attenborough effect’ has certainly made it easier to get this message across.” Guests at Salad Days and Holi Moli are now provided with their own picker sticks and beach clean bags. Brett and Susan changed some of their supplies to include eco-friendly shower and shampoo cubes instead of plastic bottles, locally made natural guest soaps, homemade jam and marmalade in reusable jars, homemade wax food wraps to replace cling film and glass water bottles in the fridge to save wasting water by running the tap to mention just a few of the changes. Even their doggy guests can get involved using bamboo dog bowls, refillable water bottles and biodegradable poop bags. Their guest changeovers have become greener too, by only using environmentally friendly cleaning products and using old tea towels as cleaning cloths instead of bought-in cloths.

“Our aim now is to continue on this green path even further, by being even more conscious of our sustainability as a company, but also in our private lives and to encourage other Somerset businesses to follow our lead and help give the world a single-use -plastic-free future,” Brett concluded. For further information on becoming a plastic-free champion see the Surfers against Sewage website or follow Plastic Free Minehead and West Somerset on Facebook.

THE HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS AT NUMBER SEVEN DULVERTON

Following on from the phenomenal success of The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, many will be intrigued to discover the next publication to feature Jackie’s distinctive illustrations. The Lost Words was recently awarded the prestigious CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal. Judged solely by librarians, the award is the highest accolade awarded to illustrators working in the UK – past winners include Raymond Briggs, Shirley Hughes and Quentin Blake.

Jackie is much in demand for public appearances due to the success of The Lost Words. She was recently centre stage at the Royal Albert Hall, painting live and reciting poems as part of The Lost Words BBC Prom. Number Seven has supported Jackie for many years and they are delighted to be hosting the launch party for The House Without Windows, published by Hamish Hamilton, away from the bright lights of London, here on Exmoor.

Two events are planned. The first is at Loyton Lodge, where a relaxing afternoon awaits with the aim of capturing the essence of The House Without Windows which is an entirely unique story of one little girl’s desire to escape into the wilderness.

Little Eepersip doesn’t want to live in a house with doors and windows and a roof, so she runs away to live in the wild – first in the Meadow, then by the Sea, and finally in the Mountain. Her heartbroken parents follow her, bringing her back home to ‘safety’ and locking her up in the stifling square of the house. But she slips away once more, following her heart into the richness of untrammelled nature and disappearing forever.

First published in 1927 and written by a child of just 12 years old, The House Without Windows is an extraordinary paean to the transcendent beauty of the natural world, and the human capacity to connect with it.

Throughout the afternoon Jackie will be painting and discussing her desire to illustrate and re-publish Barbara Newhall Follett’s book. Musical accompaniment is provided by cellist Julia Vohralik and principal violinist Katherine Shave. Julia has played with the Hallé and the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, and Katherine was leader of the English Touring Opera Orchestra. Both currently play for the Britten Sinfonia. Christopher Jelley has mown a labyrinth into the long grass and Adam Fanson, the chef at Loyton, has planned a picnic of sandwiches, colourful cakes and pots of tea. Booking is essential and tickets (£24) are available direct from Number Seven.

The second event is on Saturday 28 September and you will find Jackie in residence at Number Seven from 10am until 3pm, signing copies of her many titles. There is no need to book and admission is free. Copies of all her titles will be available to purchase, alongside a display of new illustrations created for The House Without Windows.

www.numbersevendulverton.co.uk.

SCHOOL LAUNCHES EXCITING CREATIVE ARTS EVENTS FOR NORTH DEVON PUBLIC

West Buckland School is opening its doors as a new venue for the arts in North Devon, with the launch of ARTS@WB, an exciting cultural programme of stand-up comedy, dance, music, art and drama events, open to the North Devon public. The majority of the productions will be held in the school’s fabulous 150 Arts building, where visitors will also be able to browse exhibitions from distinguished artists.

ARTS@WB has been created by the school’s Director of Music and Performing Arts, Emma Kent, who many will know from her work with the North Devon Sinfonia and who has always been a great supporter of the arts in North Devon.

“ARTS@WB is a really exciting new venture for the school and the wider community,” she said. “Hopefully everyone will find something in the programme which will whet their appetite for culture and the arts and tempt them to visit our beautiful campus to enjoy a social and thought-provoking evening.”

As well as enjoying the main attraction, visitors are encouraged to come early, pick up a glass of something and enjoy a browse around the school’s stunning 150 Arts building where there will be a number of exhibitions on display from emerging artists.

The programme is suitable for people across the age groups and there are a limited number of student tickets, priced at just £1.

Legally Blonde and Katie Derham

Highlights for the 2019-2020 programme include a critically acclaimed circus and dance performance by Nikki Rummer and JD Broussé, a comedy club night featuring Noel Brodie, Jo Coffey, Chris Leworthy and Angie Belcher, a show-stopping production of the West End hit Legally Blonde at the Queen’s theatre and an Evening with Katie Derham – an insight into the life of the well-known arts journalist and presenter of the Proms season on the BBC.

For more information, or to download a copy of the full ARTS@WB brochure, please visit: www.westbuckland.com/arts-at-wb.

TOP: “Thirsty” by Paper Birds, just one of the many exciting productions at West Buckland School as part of their ARTS@WB.